News Release: Associated Press News
By RAY HENRY
ATLANTA (AP) -- A man will not face criminal charges for fatally shooting a wandering Alzheimer's patient whom he mistook for an intruder in north Georgia.
The local prosecutor said Friday that 35-year-old Joe Hendrix has been cleared in the fatal shooting 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook on Nov. 27.
District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin says Hendrix will not be charged in what his office called a "tragic shooting death."
Westbrook suffered from dementia. Police say he slipped out of his house and tried entering the home of Hendrix's fiancee just before 4 a.m. The fiancee called police, and Hendrix got his handgun and went outside in the dark. Hendrix told police that Westbrook did not respond to commands to stop or identify himself. Instead, Westbrook approached Hendrix, who opened fire.