University Hospital shooting suspect pleads not guilty

An elderly man accused of killing his wife’s nephew in her University Hospital room entered a plea of not guilty to murder Friday.

Charles Gorrell, 86, was arrested Oct. 16 after 59-year-old Tim Grooms was shot to death.

Grooms, of Lincolnton, Ga., had power of attorney for his aunt, Frances Gorrell, 83, who died in December.

Gorrell is charged with felony murder and malice murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime. He was released on bond in November because of health issues.

Authorities said the shooting stemmed from a dispute between Gorrell and Grooms about Frances Gorrell. The woman had been admitted to Uni­versity on Oct. 15 for treatment of pneumonia. Frances Gorrell, officials said, also had other serious medical conditions.

In October, officials said, Charles Gorrell objected to some decisions Grooms made involving his aunt’s care and there were several disputes leading up to the shooting.

Gorrell’s case is assigned to Superior Court Judge Sheryl B. Jolly.

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