Judge denies bond for suspect in MCG Hospital attack

The man accused of attacking a woman in a bathroom at the Medical College of Georgia Hospital in June will remain in jail pending possible indictment and trial, a judge ruled today.

Roger A. Bettis, 28, faces charge of aggravated battery, aggravated assault, attempted rape, false imprisonment and a weapon violation in the June 3 attack.

Assistant District Attorney Hank Syms told the judge during a Richmond County Superior Court bond hearing that Mr. Bettis had just been released from a South Carolina prison two days before the assault.

On June 3, a woman walked into the women’s room near the MCG intensive care unit and saw a man with his pants down holding a knife, Mr. Syms said. She ran for help when she heard moaning and saw a woman on the floor in a pool of blood.

The 63-year-old victim later told investigators that she was in a bathroom stall when a man climbed over the top of stall and attacked her.

The victim’s daughter asked to speak for her mother today. They were at the hospital because the victim’s husband was being treated for leukemia. He would die 10 days later not knowing that the man who attacked his wife of 49 years had been arrested.

Her mother, who stands 4 feet 11 inches, was beaten so badly her jaw was dislocated, she had a concussion, both eyes were blackened and she was covered in bruises. She still needs oral surgery and physical therapy, her daughter said.

Investigators found blood on a pair of Mr. Bettis’ shoes, the prosecutor said.

Mr. Bettis was already in jail on other charges when he was identified as a suspect in the hospital attack, Mr. Syms said.

Mr. Bettis was arrested June 7 after crashing a stolen car into the Broad Street Budget Inn. According to an earlier report in The Augusta Chronicle, Mr. Bettis was running from South Carolina police who suspected him of firing a rifle during a robbery at an Atomic Road convenience store.

Mr. Bettis previously served a five-year prison sentence for an August 1998 attempted robbery. He also served six years in South Carolina for an May 2004 attempted armed robbery.

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