- Associated Press - Saturday, October 22, 2011

BALTIMORE — A patient in the maximum security wing of a Maryland state psychiatric hospital has been charged with killing his roommate Friday. The slaying comes 13 months after another Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center patient was charged in the death of a fellow patient, the only other killing in the hospital’s more than 50-year history.

Authorities were alerted when patient Vitaly Davydov, 24, came out of his room Friday afternoon and asked a security officer for help, police said. Staff found Mr. Davydov’s roommate, 22-year-old David Rico-Noyola, formerly of Anne Arundel County, on the floor. Rico-Noyola had sustained trauma to his body and head, was bleeding and was later pronounced dead by an emergency room doctor, police said.

In a check of the room about 30 minutes before the incident, a nurse saw the two men there but noted nothing unusual, police said.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore ruled the death a homicide Saturday, police spokesman Greg Shipley said. He said the medical examiner found that Rico-Noyola died from multiple injuries including blunt force trauma to the upper body and head, likely inflicted by Davydov’s hands, he said. Authorities are still trying to determine the cause of other injuries he suffered.

Mr. Davydov, formerly of Montgomery County, has been charged with first- and second-degree murder and was returned to Perkins, Mr. Shipley said. No motive has been established.

Mr. Davydov was committed by court order to the institution after he was found not criminally responsible for the 2006 slaying of his psychiatrist, Wayne Stuart Fenton, at his Bethesda office.

Rico-Noyola was charged with murder in the 2008 death of his mother, Ofelia Noyola-Monrroy, but he was later deemed incompetent to stand trial.

A trial for another Perkins patient charged in the slaying of a fellow patient in a medium-security wing last year was recently postponed. El Soundani El-Wahhabi, also known as Saladin Taylor, was charged in the death of fellow patient Susan Sachs, 45, in September 2010. Both Mr. El-Wahhabi and Ms. Sachs were committed to Perkins after separate murder trials.

Mr. El-Wahhabi told police that he went into Ms. Sachs’ room shortly before their bed check and after kissing her, he put a string around her neck and pulled it tight until she stopped breathing, according to court documents. He was charged with first- and second-degree murder, but his October trial was postponed until February when he became ill.

There was a comprehensive review after Ms. Sachs’ slaying last year, according to W. Lawrence Fitch, director of forensic services for the state’s Mental Hygiene Administration. He said some changes were made to the electronic security system and more hall monitors were added. Another review has already begun after Friday’s slaying at the forensic hospital, which has about 230-beds, he said.

These two slayings are the only ones to occur at Perkins since it was built in 1959, Mr. Fitch said.

“The last one was the first in its history, so this is very disturbing,” Mr. Fitch said. “Perkins is reserved for patients with violent histories and violent charges. It’s a tough place, but it has a terrific track record, but for these cases.”

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