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Elderly man charged with murder is in hospice care

YOUNGSTOWN — An arrest warrant is in effect for an elderly man charged in the 2019 death of a fellow nursing home resident, but it’s unlikely he will see the inside of a courtroom.

During arraignments Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, defense attorney Frank Cassese told Magistrate Dominic DeLaurentis that Horace A. Landers of High Street is in hospice care.

Assistant prosecutor Rob Andrews said he does not believe law enforcement will pick up Landers, apparently because of Landers’ medical status. Landers was scheduled for an arraignment last Tuesday and again this Tuesday in the murder case.

An arrest warrant was issued for Landers when he was indicted, and that warrant is still in effect, Andrews said. The magistrate said the warrant will remain in effect.

Landers is charged with murder and felonious assault, accused of causing the death of Watson R. Wilcox Jr., 89, in Windsor House Guardian Healthcare Center, 1735 Belmont Ave., July 24, 2019.

Wilcox’s death certificate in January 2020 listed his manner of death as undetermined. But after a follow-up investigation by the state, Mahoning County Coroner D. David Kennedy changed the ruling to homicide early his month.

Wilcox died Aug. 6, 2019, after he was found on the floor of his room at the nursing home with a head injury. A Youngstown police report states that officers were called to the nursing home at 3:32 a.m.

Wilcox was found on the floor with a swollen eye and nose with bleeding from the mouth. He had bruising on his right shoulder.

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