Man charged with murder in apparent hammer attack

- A 53-year-old Minnetonka man is in custody at Hennepin County Jail, charged with second degree murder of a 61-year-old Minneapolis man.

Ronald Gary Bailey faces up to 40 years behind bars.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office ruled Riley Barry Housley III's death a homicide last week, noting he died of "penetrating blunt force head injuries." Housley died of his injuries on January 31, about ten days after the incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Housley's girlfriend came to his apartment in the 200 block of Lowry Avenue NE late in the evening of Jan. 20 and found him incoherent on the couch. An ambulance took him to Hennepin County Medical Center in the early hours of Jan. 21.

During surgery, the doctor discovered three parts of Housley's skull had been fractured separately. The doctor told police the claw part of a hammer could have made the injuries.

The girlfriend told police she initially thought he had hurt himself in a fall. When she showed police the apartment, they found a hammer with apparent blood stains on it in the laundry room.

A man, who helped the girlfriend when she found Housley, was also interviewed by police. He told investigators when he saw Housley's injuries he immediately knew he wasn't injured in a fall. He asked Housley "who did this to you?" and all he would say was "Ron." 

Surveillance video showed Housley went into his apartment around 7:30 a.m. that Saturday and did not leave until the ambulance medics took him overnight. Video showed Bailey entering and leaving the apartment multiple times that day. He was the only person to enter the apartment before Housley's girlfriend showed up later that night.

Police issued a warrant for Bailey's arrest and later took him into custody.

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