Alleged Hospital Killer Involved in Numerous Incidents of Assault Week Prior

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SEDALIA - Police say the man who allegedly killed another man at Columbia's Truman VA Hospital had several run-ins with the law days before the murder.

Columbia Police say Sedalia resident Rudy Perez, 33, beat 78-year-old Robert Hill to death at the hospital Friday.

KOMU 8 News obtained court documents filed in Pettis County that charge Perez went on a spree of alleged assaults beginning last Tuesday.

Pettis County Sheriff Kevin Bond said Perez was arrested Jan. 29 after court documents say he broke into a home and assaulted the resident. Police kept him in custody in the Pettis County Jail for 24 hours before releasing him. While in jail, Sheriff Bond said there was an altercation between Perez and a sheriff's deputy. Court documents say Perez punched Pettis County Sheriff Deputy Richard Townsend.

Sheriff Bond said a detective continues to look into the jail assault but prosecutors weren't planning to charge Perez for the break-in and subsequent assault. But court records show prosecutors officially filed charges Tuesday, Feb. 5.

On Thursday, the sheriff said Perez's parents called 911 requesting officer assistance as they were taking their son to the local hospital. Sheriff Bond said once officers arrived to assist the family, Perez had grabbed and dragged his mother and punched and caused physical injury to his father. The probable cause statement states "Perez has a history of mental health and it was unknown if he was either off his medications or had possibly overdosed on medication."

Sheriff Bond says one of his deputies recommended to a judge that Perez receive a 96 hour involuntary commitment to a psychiatric center. Perez was transported to Missouri Psychiatric Center and then Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital.

The Sedalia Prosecutor Jeff Mittelhauser was out of the office when KOMU showed up for comment and Assistant DA Bill Chapman refused comment.

According to the Columbia police department, Perez is being held on a $1 million cash only bond for first degree murder in connection with the VA assault.