Sheriff: Caretaker killed self after beating man to death with nunchucks

Published: May. 13, 2015 at 2:43 PM EDT|Updated: May. 23, 2015 at 3:30 PM EDT
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GASTON, SC (WIS) - The death of a Gaston man last month has been ruled a murder-suicide, authorities said.

According to Lexington County Coroner Margaret Fisher, 79-year-old Gustave Adolph Hartner died from a skull fracture after a beating.

Maj. John Allard with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department says there is no active investigation because the suspect in the case died by suicide on April 29.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said investigators determined that Robert Lee Henderson, Jr., 62, who lived with Hartner and served as Hartner's caretaker, hit Hartner multiple times in his head and face with nun-chucks on April 12 during an argument at their home at 107 Anderson Drive, killing Hartner.

After Henderson died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, investigators found a note in which Henderson disclosed his involvement in Hartner's murder, Koon said. At the time of his death, investigators had identified Henderson as a person of interest in connection with the fatal beating of Hartner. Investigators determined that Henderson left Gaston and withdrew most of the money from the checking and savings accounts at his bank between April 13 and April 18.

Hartner pleaded guilty, but mentally ill to voluntary manslaughter in 2009 for killing his 90-year-old wife, Mildred. Gustave Hartner was sentenced to seven years in prison. He was released last year.

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