Norman Bledsoe died on Monday following a months-long bout of depression and loss of appetite after the alleged attack, his family told Fox 2 and the Detroit News. Bledsoe’s name also appears on an obituary page on a Detroit funeral home’s website.
“His eating habits went downhill after (the incident) and he lost quite a bit of weight,” the victim’s nephew, Kevin Bledsoe, told the Detroit News.
The beating happened at the Westwood Rehabilitation Nursing Center on May 15. Video, seemingly shot by the suspect, went viral at the time, particularly after U.S. President Donald Trump shared it on Twitter.
“Is this even possible to believe?” Trump tweeted. “Can this be for real? Where is this nursing home, how is the victim doing?”
The video shows a young man standing over Bledsoe and punching him dozens of times while he lay in his bed. The suspect then rolls Bledsoe out of the bed, picks up the camera and shows off Bledsoe’s bloody injuries while insulting him.
Bledsoe suffered four broken fingers, broken ribs and a broken jaw from the attack, his family has said.
The victim and the suspect were both residents of the nursing home, the facility told WXYZ in May.
“One thing we want to make clear, on the record, is that this incident did not involve a nurse or any other employee of the nursing home,” said the Westwood Rehabilitation Nursing Center at the time.
Jaden Hayden, 20, of Ypsilanti, Mi., was arrested in connection with the incident. He faces two counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm, theft, and two counts of credit card theft.
Hayden is slated to appear in court on Thursday to determine if he is mentally fit to stand trial.
Hayden’s father told Fox 2 in May that his son has autism, behavioural problems and mental health issues.
“I just don’t want people to think that he’s this vicious individual. He’s got mental issues,” his father said at the time.
Bledsoe’s family is preparing to sue the nursing home over the incident, his nephew told the Detroit News.
Kevin Bledsoe says the family couldn’t visit Norman until last week due to COVID-19 restrictions at the home.
“He wasn’t doing very good,” he told the Detroit News. “I guess there just wasn’t anything else they could do for him.”
Due to the graphic nature of the original video and out of respect for the victim, Global News has opted not to post any footage here.