Oceanside CA— On April 16th, 2016, Oceanside Police Officers responded to an assault in the 4400 block of Ruby Lane. Officers arrived and found the victim, Margaret Wood, a 94-year-old woman with serious head injuries.
Paramedics responded to the scene and Wood was transported to the hospital. Responding Officers determined Wood had been visiting a friend and neighbor at a nearby residence on Topaz Lane. At some point during visit, Wood was assaulted by the live-in caregiver of her friend. Further investigation revealed that the assault had been captured on video surveillance of a neighboring residence. The security video showed that the caregiver, 66-year-old William Sutton, had thrown the victim out of an elevated kitchen door onto a concrete patio causing serious blunt force injuries to Wood. Sutton fled the scene before officers arrived. Detectives arrested Sutton the following day, April 17, for attempted murder and felony elder abuse.
Sutton appeared in court for the initial attempted murder and elder abuse charges and was ultimately released on bond pending a future court date. Oceanside Police Detectives continued to investigate the assault while Wood remained in hospice care due to the severity of her injuries. Wood’s condition continued to deteriorate and, sadly, she passed away from complications of her injuries on Saturday, July 9th. As a result of Wood’s death, Oceanside Police Detectives issued an arrest warrant for Sutton for murder on July 11th.
Sutton was subsequently arrested by the US Marshals in Vista at approximately 9:45 am and booked into the Vista Detention Facility. “This tragic incident displays the importance of the community working hand in hand with local law enforcement to shine a light on the often under-reported crime of elder abuse.” said a spokesperson from the Oceanside Police Department.