Man killed at Gramercy Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Police: Michael Poole admits to hitting roommate Robert Verser

PALMETTO BAY, Fla. - A man admitted to hitting his 73-year-old roommate who died inside their room at a nursing and rehabilitation center, police say.

A nurse realized Robert Verser, 73, wasn't breathing when she went to give him his morning dose of medication about 8:05 a.m. Wednesday. He was a hospice patient at Gramercy Park Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Palmetto Bay.

A code blue was activated, but Verser has a do-not-resuscitate order.

Detectives interviewed 41-year-old Michael Poole, Verser's roommate. Poole initially told staff that Verser had fallen out of bed.

"They called homicide out and at that point is when they determined this was not caused by some fall," said Miami-Dade Police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta. "This was caused by the fact somebody had in fact battered the victim."

Scars on Poole's hands and injuries on Verser's face led investigators to believe that Verser had been attacked by his own roommate. Poole also had blood on his hands, police said.

Investigators said Poole admitted to battering Verser.

"He did tell investigators that he struck the victim," said Zabaleta. "He used his hands."

Poole charged with first-degree murder.

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