Man accused of using prosthetic leg to fatally beat elderly roommate ordered to stand trial on murder charge

Crime Watch

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A 44-year-old man who authorities say used a prosthetic leg in a beating that resulted in the death of his 68-year-old roommate has been ordered to stand trial on murder and elder abuse charges.

A judge ruled Thursday there is enough evidence against Paul Lujan to go to trial and scheduled a hearing June 1 to set a trial date. Lujan is held on more than $2 million bail.

According to court documents, Lujan argued with Lawrence Olivas around 2 a.m. on May 9, 2019, when Lujan refused to turn off the country music he was playing in the room they shared at a residence on Dore Drive.

Legally blind and suffering from dementia, Olivas swore at Lujan and tried to punch him, Lujan told police. Lujan said he then punched Olivas several times, including once so hard in the face it hurt his hand, and Olivas returned to his bed.

Lujan removed his prosthetic leg and walked to Olivas’ bed, he told investigators. He swung the leg and twice hit Olivas in the face.

The leg weighed at least 15 pounds, Lujan said in the documents.

Police were called to the house after another resident discovered the badly injured Olivas at about 8 a.m. He was taken to a hospital, and doctors found numerous facial fractures and bleeding on the brain, the documents said.

He died July 12.

Lujan told police he has mental health problems and he smoked methamphetamine the night before the assault. He said he once shot himself in the head but survived.

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