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Man charged in punching of Detroit nursing home patient found competent to stand trial

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 20-year-old Ypsilanti man identified by authorities as the individual seen in a video punching an elderly man in a Detroit nursing home has been ruled mentally competent to stand trial.

Judge Roberta Archer of 36th District Court ruled Thursday in the case of Jaden Hayden, who is accused in the brutal May 15 beating of his 75-year-old roommate at the nursing home.

Jaden Hayden

Hayden was charged with two counts of assault with intent to go great bodily harm, theft and two counts of credit card theft in connection with the videotaped beating of Norman Bledsoe at the Westwood Nursing Center on the 16850 block of Schaefer on the city's northwest side.

Hayden had been sent to the nursing home because he had tested positive for COVID-19 and was part of a Michigan health officials' policy of sending some COVID-positive patients to quarantine in area nursing homes instead of doing so at home.

Bledsoe, an Oak Park resident, died in July. It is not yet known if Bledsoe's death was a direct cause of the beating he suffered from his assailant.

Norman Bledsoe's nephew, Kevin Bledsoe, said his uncle suffered from depression and was not eating well after the beating.  

"His eating habits went downhill after (the alleged assault), and he lost quite a bit of weight," Kevin Bledsoe told The News in July. 

The judge on Thursday sent an Oct. 28 date for a preliminary examination for Hayden when it could be determined whether he should face trial on the charges. The medical examiner's report could be released at the hearing.

Norman Bledsoe received four broken fingers, broken ribs and a broken jaw from the attack which drew rebuke from the White House.

Police also are investigating other videos Hayden allegedly posted on YouTube, which police say appear to show him assaulting others. There are videos in which Hayden makes racial remarks and says COVID-19 is God's punishment for gays and lesbians.