Mentally ill Virginia man beat his grandmother to death, cops say

grandmother
Source: Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center; Unsplash

Sep. 1 2021, Published 9:23 a.m. ET

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A man from Virginia has been arrested after he allegedly beat his grandmother to death.

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David Austin Rowe, 18, was charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of his grandmother, Dianna Lynne Swaner, 63, to death, according to The Winchester Star.

Police say Rowe confessed to killing Swaner in her home in the 1300 block of Quail Run Lane in Winchester, Virginia, after he went inside to get a can of beans and she stopped him, The Winchester Star reported.

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According to the criminal complaint obtained by The Winchester Star, “Rowe stated he then punched Swaner in the head with his left hand, then grabbed Swaner from her chair and rammed her head into the television.”

“Rowe stated he then escorted Swaner’s head rapidly into the corner of a fireplace where Rowe then struck Swaner in the head with a glass-jarred candle,” the criminal complaint continued, according to The Winchester Star.

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The murder took place less than a week after Rowe was put under an emergency custody order for allegedly making death threats at the Winchester Rescue Mission where he had been living, The Winchester Star reported.

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On April 9, Rowe was accused of beating Swaner and a passerby who came to her aid, according to The Winchester Star.

Rowe, in that case, was charged with assault and battery and battery of a family member, The Winchester Star reported.

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On July 5, Rowe was charged with assault and battery after a man said Rowe began acting erratically, then attacked him at a water cooler, according to The Winchester Star.

Despite his history with his grandmother, Rowe frequently told shelter staff he loved Swaner, The Winchester Star reported.

"Austin didn't get the help Austin needed and now his grandmother is dead," said Rev. Brandan Thomas, the Executive Director of the shelter told The Winchester Star. "I knew all this was coming. I'm just heartbroken and devastated."

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