Prosecutors: Housemate killed 86-year-old man over can of food

An 86-year-old man who died last fall of injuries from a beating had been attacked by his housemate with a baseball bat in a dispute over a can of food, prosecutors said today.

Ellison Jordan Jr. died Sept. 22, five months after he was attacked in his home by Donald Henry, now 56, after Henry started arguing with Jordan over the food, prosecutors said today.

Henry has been in Cook County Jail since just after the attack about 7:35 p.m. April 21 at the men’s home in the 1900 block of South Homan Avenue. Criminal Court Judge Edward Harmening today ordered Henry held in lieu of $900,000 bail after Henry was charged with murder last week.

Henry’s bail was initially set at $350,000 on aggravated battery and armed violence charges soon after he was arrested in April, according to the Cook County Sheriff's office.

Jordan was at home with Henry and two other people who live there when he went into the kitchen to make food, and Henry followed him,  Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Stephanie Buck said today. Henry began arguing with Jordan over a can of food, and Jordan picked up a stick as he stood near the back door, across the room from Henry, prosecutors said.

Henry left the kitchen, went to his bedroom and returned to the kitchen with a baseball bat, prosecutors said. Jordan was still in the same place near the back door, and Henry rushed toward him with the bat raised, then hit him several times in the head with the bat, prosecutors said.

Jordan fell to the floor, and Henry fled the house. When Henry returned home soon after, he was arrested, prosecutors said.

The critically injured Jordan was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital and in May transferred first to RML Specialty Hospital in Hinsdale, then to a nursing home in the 2400 block of West Touhy Avenue in West Rogers Park.

Jordan was never discharged from nursing care after the attack. He was able to open his eyes, but lost the ability to walk, talk and feed himself, prosecutors said. Though Jordan was declared dead on Sept. 22, 2012 at Saint Francis Hospital in Evanston, an autopsy was not performed until Oct. 18 because of a delay receiving Jordan’s body.

Initially, the Cook County medical examiner’s office made no determination in the case, pending additional studies, but eventually the medical examiner’s office determined Jordan died from multiple injuries from an assault in a homicide, prosecutors said today.

Henry is due back in court Feb. 15 before Criminal Court Judge Charles Burns in his initial case.

chicagobreaking@tribune.com

Twitter: @ChicagoBreaking

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
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