Man admits killing roommate in psychiatric hospital

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gavelSAN DIEGO — A man who attacked and fatally beat his roommate at the San Diego County Psychiatric Hospital more than two years ago pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, attempted torture and other charges.

Bart Clement Schafer, 34, will be sentenced to 15 years and two months in state prison at a Sept. 5 hearing.

Deputy District Attorney Makenzie Harvey said Schafer alerted hospital staff on March 17, 2012, that 53-year-old Robert King had fallen, face-down. But Schafer eventually admitted that he had slammed King’s face twice into the ground, according to witnesses who testified during a 2012 preliminary hearing.

King died a week later.

A police acting detective testified that Schafer told him that he knew what he did was wrong, but that King “had it coming to him” because he knew too much about someone in Schafer’s past.

The prosecutor said the defendant had been committed to the psychiatric hospital because of a recent arrest and had been the victim’s roommate for only a short time.

Schafer also pleaded guilty to residential burglary and misdemeanor battery stemming from an earlier attack on a jail cellmate.