15 Sep 2014
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UPDATED: No Bail For Man Who Allegedly Killed Grandmother

Neighbor tells Newsday that Clarence Newcomb came to their house two hours before he was arrested, appearing confused and carrying a baseball bat.

UPDATED: No Bail For Man Who Allegedly Killed Grandmother

UPDATE, 9:26 p.m. - A Suffolk County Judge on Sunday denied bail for Clarence Newcomb in the death of his grandmother, according to Newsday.

Newcomb will also remain under medical supervision in jail as he awaits trial.

According to Newsday, prosecutors described the crime in detail at the hearing, claiming that Newcomb had choked his grandmother, 82-year-old Kathleen Newcomb, and put his "knee on the small of her back ... until she couldn't breathe" after the two argued over what to watch on television on Friday.

Newcomb had been raised by his grandmother. His father lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. and his mother lives in Utah, where she is a member of the Ute American Indian tribe.

Original Post:

Two hours before Clarence Newcomb was arrested and charged with manslaughter Friday in the death of his own grandmother, the 25-year-old visited a neighbor, speaking incoherently and carrying a baseball bat.

"I was scared of him," June Lanzer, a 76-year friend of victim Kathleen Newcomb told, Newsday. Lanzer said Newcomb, a black belt in karate, was talking about having to save her own grandson.

Read the Newsday story here.

Two hours later, after a 911 call tipped off authorities that someone was on the floor, unconscious at the Newcomb home, police arrested Clarence Newcomb. Cops said Newcomb told them he assaulted her after a verbal argument. Suffolk homicide Det. Sgt. John Best told Newsday the argument was over what television show they were watching.

Police later brought Newcomb to Stony Brook University Hospital for an "evaluation," postponing his arraignment until the hospital released him Saturday morning.

The arrest of Newcomb has shocked many in Kings Park, and several locals have posted comments on Kings Park Patch in disbelief.

"I've know him for a long time, we grew up together, and I would NEVER feel unsafe around him," wrote Kimberly Nunziata. "If anything, I always felt protected when he was around. It makes me SICK that this happened, but until the WHOLE story comes about, please don't judge."

Brendyn Smyth wrote that "the Clarence I know would not want to do this."

Newcomb was charged with first degree manslaughter, which state law describes as a killing that may happen as a result of someone wanting to cause physical harm but not necessarily death. Manslaughter also applies when the person causes another's death "under the influence of extreme emotional disturbance." Police have not released further details on the crime.

The victim, Kathleen Newcomb, was a beloved community figure in Kings Parks, with deep ties to the former Kings Park Psychiatric Hospital. Newcomb spent decades as a nurse there before ultimately becoming director of nursing.

"I remember Mrs. Newcomb vividly. She was my nursing school principal ... She was such a strong woman who was a role model to me as a student and she was involved every step of the way as an educator. She passed on to us, her students, her professionalism and love of patient care," Maureen Verdon Butt wrote in a comment on Patch.

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