New York man gets 17 years in beating death of nursing home roommate

NEW YORK Wed Jul 9, 2014 5:00pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former New York nursing home resident who pleaded guilty to clubbing to death his 71-year-old roommate has been sentenced to 17 years in prison, prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Thomas Yarnavick, 67, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter in May for killing roommate Jailall Singh by striking him repeatedly over the head with a metal wheelchair footrest.

The bloodied footrest was later found in a laundry hamper at the Beacon Rehabilitation and Nursing Center in the New York borough of Queens, where the two were living, prosecutors said.

"This was a particularly senseless and disturbing killing of a man living out his days at a nursing facility," Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.

The fatal attack occurred last October. Yarnavick had been held without bail since his November arraignment.

Local media reported the two had argued over privacy issues since they began sharing a room some months before the attack. The argument that led to the beating was over the curtain separating their beds, the New York Times reported.

(Reporting by Curtis Skinner; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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