Local News

Woman charged in fatal baseball bat attack

Posted April 8, 2010 10:44 a.m. EDT
Updated April 8, 2010 12:43 p.m. EDT

— Franklin County deputies are investigating a baseball bat attack last week that led to a Louisburg man's death, authorities said Thursday.

Alfredo Ortega, 53, was beaten on the head with a bat on April 1 and died of his injuries on Monday, Franklin County Sheriff Pat Green said.

Ruby Smith, 73, is charged with assault with a deadly weapon in the incident. Investigators turned their findings over to Franklin County prosecutors, who plan to present evidence in the case to a grand jury next month to determine whether other charges are warranted, Green said.

Ortega lived with Smith's daughter, who has a medical condition that has left her unable to speak, Green said. Smith routinely visited the house to care for her daughter and often became involved in altercations with Ortega, the sheriff said.

Green said it's unclear whether Smith hit Ortega in self-defense or initiated the attack.