Police have charged a man with the alleged murder of 57- year-old Richard Lewis.
Victor Purdie, 56, is facing second degree murder charges for Lewis’s death. Lewis was beaten and repeatedly kicked in the head and succumbed to his injuries Jan. 6, making him D.C.’s first homicide victim of 2017, according to the Washington Post.
According to police, Purdie assaulted Lewis back in October of 2016. Purdie died from his injuries in January.
Lewis was a regular panhandler at Union Station who suffered from schizophrenia, Kent Lewis, Richard Lewis’ brother, told the Washington Post. Lewis was diagnosed with the mental illness after enlisting in the United States military years ago.
In the late 1980s Lewis followed his brother to D.C. and worked as a night watchman all the while taking medicine to control his schizophrenia. In 2002 his regiment fell apart after Lewis’ mother passed away.
“He was a good guy,” Kent Lewis told the Washington Post. “He was a smart guy. He unfortunately fell prey to this illness. This illness led to him being taken advantage of by the people in his world.”
Purdie is expected to be presented in court Monday afternoon.