Man, 72, accused of choking woman to death after she wandered into his room at nursing home

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. — A 72-year-old man faced a judge Thursday morning after deputies arrested him for second-degree murder.

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Investigators said the man lived at an assisted living facility in Palm Coast. The woman he’s accused of killing was also a resident there.

Deputies said Cliff Mody choked the 77-year-old woman to death after she wandered into his room at the Gold Choice Assisted Living and Memory Care facility. Investigators said due to the woman’s diminished mental capacity she would routinely enter the rooms of other residents and attempt to lay in bed with them.

READ: Sheriff: Man arrested for beating fellow resident to death at Flagler County nursing home

According to an arrest affidavit, Mody repeatedly struck the woman in the face and held her in a chokehold because he was “mad.” Deputies said Mody only activated the call bell in his room to alert staff after the woman was dead. Deputies said this was the first time Mody and the woman had ever interacted or she had ever entered his room.

The assisted living facility declined to comment on the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

We checked court records and could not find any prior criminal history for the suspect in Flagler County.

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The worker at the facility who called 911 said Mody has hurt people before.

“He was on AL. We had a problem with him attacking somebody over so I don’t know why they didn’t just have him leave. They moved him over to memory care the last week – two weeks ago,” a caller told 911 dispatchers.

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An attorney raised some concerns about his cognitive health.

“Due to the nature of the charges and some competency concerns after consulting with him we would’ve liked to have the service of a public defender,” the attorney said.

A judge ordered no bond for Mody. The judge also ordered no contact with the victim’s family.

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