Authorities Think Elderly Wife Who Beat Her Husband to Death With a Cane May Be Dealing With Dementia

An 86-year-old Florida woman is allegedly “confused,” after being accused of beating her husband to death with a cane on Saturday.

According to the Pensacola News Journal, Ramona Maxine Lund was arrested after police found her 89-year-old husband, Francis Joseph Lund, dead in their Santa Rosa home that morning.

A neighbor called police after he noticed Ramona on the front porch standing over Francis’ bloody body. He reportedly thought Francis had fallen down and Ramona allegedly told him she couldn’t find her phone to call for help.

However, upon arrival investigators noticed several bruises and indentations on the victim’s head and concluded the victim suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Further, they discovered parts of a walking cane covered in blood on the sofa and in a bucket by the front door. There was also reportedly a bloody nightgown on the arm of a sofa.

As the Pensacola News Journal reports, officials charged Ramona with homicide. She is being held on a $250,000 bond in the Santa Rosa County Jail.

However, prior to her scheduled court appearance on Monday, Ramona’s public defender, Bruce Miller, requested she be evaluated for mental competency within 48 hours. He said he experienced trouble reading her rights to her.

Ramona allegedly shows indications of confusion. For example, she reportedly wasn’t aware of where she was or the time.

The Santa Rosa Police Department agreed.

During a press conference on Monday, Santa Rosa County Sheriff Bob Johnson said:

“Based on observations of my investigators, as well as other personnel, when you interact with her on a personal level, when you ask her questions, it’s clear that she’s confused.”

The testing will help determine Ramona’s competency for the trial and if insanity at the time of the offense could be a factor in the case. Miller mentioned the possibility that his client may be suffering from an illness such as dementia.

Miller said:

“If someone suffers from dementia, they are not going to become competent, they are going to stay that way.”

He pointed out that if Ramona is diagnosed with dementia, she could potentially meet the criteria for an insanity defense.

Johnson added:

“It’s important that, while we are going to focus on the mental confusion and that aspect, it’s important to remember and be reminded that she is charged with a very serious crime that has resulted in the loss of a human life.”

State’s Attorney Bill Eddins announced that this case is “unusual” because Ramona is the oldest person in the county that the Sheriff’s Office has ever charged with murder.