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Indianapolis man pleads guilty to murder and rape of woman in nursing home

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis man has pleaded guilty to raping and murdering an 80-year-old woman in the nursing home where they both lived.

Dwayne Freeman, 61, was charged with two counts of rape and two counts of murder for the death of Patricia Newnum in February 2022.

On Wednesday, Freeman accepted a deal from prosecutors and agreed to plead guilty to one count of rape and one count of murder. He will spend 75 years in prison, according to court papers obtained by News 8.

As a part of the agreement, the remaining charges against Freeman were dropped.

Freeman and Newnum both lived at Homestead Healthcare Center on Madison Avenue on the city’s south side, where Newnum was in hospice care.

A probable cause affidavit says that around 5 a.m. on Feb. 2, 2022, a nurse walked into Newnum’s room and found Freeman on top of Newnum with a pillow on her face.

Freeman was naked and Newnum was only wearing a shirt, the nurse told police.

Police were sent to the nursing home about half an hour later and Newnum was pronounced deceased at 5:45 a.m.

Freeman originally said that Newnum “was already dead” when he came into the room, court papers say. Staff found a bottle of alcohol near Freeman and told police that he was drunk.

He later said the two had sexual intercourse, but that it was consensual. Staff said that at the time of her death, Newnum was unable to move on her own and that her speech was limited.

“I’m going to get me a woman tonight,” Freeman told staff the night before the killing, according to court documents.

Freeman’s criminal history includes previous convictions for misdemeanor battery and public indecency.

Freeman is set to appear in court for a sentencing hearing June 22.

This story was updated to correct Freeman’s age.

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