DEFIANCE - A 44-year-old Defiance man whom police found beaten beyond recognition and inexplicably lying on a couch in a house a few blocks from his home almost six weeks ago died late Wednesday night.
Daniel Pate of 636 Harrison Ave. died in Hospice of Northwest Ohio in Toledo, apparently without regaining consciousness after he was beaten in Defiance, city Police Chief Norm Walker said.
Four young men, all with police records and all of whom Mr. Pate was thought to have known, are charged with his beating. Three were booked into the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio before Mr. Pate died; the fourth remained at large yesterday.
Police were called the afternoon of Dec. 18 by a man who told them there was a stranger lying on his living room couch in the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in south central Defiance. Police found Mr. Pate, who was beaten so badly it appeared unlikely that he could have walked there. He had no identification with him and police did not immediately identify him.
The house was unlocked, but Chief Walker said yesterday it's unclear how Mr. Pate got inside. Chief Walker declined to name the resident who called police.
Mr. Pate, who suffered life-threatening injuries, was flown to Toledo Hospital, according to police. The hospital, however, had no record of him yesterday. It was unclear how long Mr. Pate had been at Hospice.
An autopsy is to be conducted today by the Lucas County coroner's office.
Chief Walker declined to discuss a motive in the beating or to say if it is thought to be drug-related. Police aren't sure where it happened, he said.
Police also don't know, he said, how much time elapsed between when Mr. Pate was beaten and when they were called at 2:30 p.m.
Because of Mr. Pate's death, Chief Walker said he plans to meet with Defiance County Prosecutor Jeffrey Strausbaugh next week to discuss further charges against the suspects.
The first two men charged - Billy Joe March and Lance Randall Kolb, who lived within blocks of Mr. Pate on Harrison Avenue - have been held in the regional jail since Jan. 5.
March, who is 23 and lives at 620 1/2 Harrison Ave., was charged with felonious assault, a second-degree felony.
Kolb, 22, of 1043 Harrison Ave., was charged with burglary, a second-degree felony.
Bond was set at $25,000 cash for each of them in Defiance Municipal Court on Jan. 5 and their cases were bound over to Defiance County Common Pleas Court.
On Tuesday, police charged Keith Manuel Kaszowski, 23, of 609 Ravine Ave. with felonious assault, a second-degree felony. He had been booked into the regional jail on Jan. 3 for a probation violation.
His bond was set at $50,000 cash on Wednesday and a preliminary hearing was scheduled for Feb. 4.
Police also this week charged Willie R. Cole, Jr., 22, of 620 Euclid St. with felonious assault. He remained at large last night.
All four suspects have been in and out of the regional jail for years.
March was booked into CCNO five times in 2000 alone. His record includes theft, assault, and menacing.
Kolb's record includes theft, liquor violations, and drug offenses.
Kaszowski, who is in CCNO for the third time, has had fewer stays there than the other two. His record includes disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Cole has been in CCNO a couple times for receiving stolen property and a probation violation.
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