By RICK HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — MT. VERNON — An elderly Centralia man has been charged with beating his wife in their Jefferson County home late last month, although her death 10 days later may not be related to the incident.
Carl P. Daniels, 83, of the 22000 block of North Highway 51, was formally charged on April 23 with aggravated domestic battery, a Class 2 felony.
According to court documents, on April 22, the defendant allegedly committed the offense of domestic battery when he "knowingly caused great bodily harm to Sue Daniels, a family member of the defendant, in that the defendant kicked and struck Sue Daniels."
Sue Daniels, 75, died on Thursday at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis. Local officials indicated Sue Daniels had some health-related issues prior to the incident.
Jefferson County State's Attorney Doug Hoffman said he and detectives attended her autopsy on Friday, and are awaiting results from the pathologist to determine if the injuries inflicted by the defendant caused his wife's death.
Hoffman declined to discuss specifics of the beating, other than to confirm he would classify it as "severe." He also declined to comment on whether the victim had been sexually assaulted.
Carl Daniels is currently being held in the Jefferson County Justice Center under $50,000 bond. Public Defender Sean Featherstun was appointed to represent Daniels.
Hoffman said during a recent court hearing, an issue of doubt concerning Daniels' mental condition was brought before the court. As a result, a psychiatric examination was ordered to determine if Daniels is fit to stand trial. Hoffman said the examination will take place within 45 days at the local jail.
A status hearing has been scheduled for 9:30 a.m. June 4, at which time the results of the examination are expected to be released. Local officials should also have results from the pathologist at that time, which will help court officials decide how to proceed in the case, Hoffman said.