Last November we told you the story of 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook who suffered from Alzheimer’s and was shot and killed while wandering late at night in Georgia, mistakenly thinking that he was attempting to enter his own home.
Westbrook had lived in the neighborhood at one time, but at the time of his death he lived approximately three miles away. He had left his home while his wife slept to walk his dog, and in his confused state ended up at the door of a home where 34-year-old Joe Hendrix resided with his girlfriend.
When Hendrix heard someone trying the locked front door, rather than calling 911 and waiting inside for police to arrive he grabbed his .40 caliber handgun. While his girlfriend called 911, he slipped out the back door and came around to the front to confront the “prowler” from behind.
Westbrook was slow to respond to verbal communications and continued to walk toward Hendrix when he demanded that he freeze, Hendrix fired four shots striking Westbrook at least once in the chest killing him.
At the time, the investigation was ongoing and it had not yet been determined if Hendrix would face any charges in the killing.
Westbrook’s widow, Deanne Westbrook said that she thought the police and District Attorney had done a thorough job of investigating her husband’s death. “I really wanted to see it go before a grand jury, and then maybe before a jury. But they tell me there’s not enough evidence for that,” she said.
Hendrix made no statement himself but his Attorney Lee Davis issued a written statement on his behalf saying that he appreciated the care that the police and District Attorney’s office took in investigating the case.
“Mr. Hendrix fully acknowledges the loss to Westbrook family, and his thoughts and prayers are with them,” Davis said in the statement.