Man who killed roommate with baseball bat sentenced to 12 years

EL CAJON, Calif. — An East County man who fatally beat his 72-year-old roommate with a baseball bat at their El Cajon residence was sentenced Monday to 12 years in state prison.

Michael Patrick O’Donnell, 60, pleaded guilty to a voluntary manslaughter count last month stemming from the Oct. 13, 2015, death of Richard Hobbs.

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. Paramedics took him to a hospital, where he died. O’ Donnell was arrested about a week after Hobbs’ death.

The defendant has not provided a motive for the killing, according to Deputy District Attorney Daniel Shim.

O’Donnell was initially charged with murder and went to trial last year on that charge, which could have resulted in a prison sentence of 26 years to life. Jurors deadlocked 9-3 in favor of conviction.

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