$2M bail set for man accused of beating roommate to death

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EL CAJON, Calif. — An East County man accused of fatally beating his 72-year-old roommate with a baseball bat or stick pleaded not guilty Friday to a murder charge.

Michael Patrick O’Donnell, 56, was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bail.

O’Donnell was arrested Tuesday evening in connection with the death of Richard Hobbs of El Cajon.

About 8:30 p.m. Oct. 13, officers responded to a reported assault in the home the men shared in the 1000 block of Pine Drive and found Hobbs suffering from severe head injuries, according to police. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died, Lt. Frank La Haye said.

Authorities did not reveal a motive for the attack.

O’Donnell will be back in court Oct. 28 for a readiness conference and Nov. 5 for a preliminary hearing.

He faces 26 years to life in prison if convicted.

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