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Man facing murder charge in hospital attack

WORCESTER — A Spencer man is facing a murder charge after allegedly attacking a fellow patient in a psychiatric ward at UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Worcester District Attorney Joseph D. Early Jr. said the victim, Ratna Bhattarai, 31, of Worcester, died early Thursday at the hospital.

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Early said Aldo Dunphe, 23, will be arraigned Friday on a murder charge.

Dunphe pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges including assault to murder.

The prosecutor said that a dangerousness hearing that had been scheduled Friday will not be held. Dunphe is being held without bail.

Police said Dunphe told investigators that he tried to smother Bhattarai with a pillow, then choked and beat the man because he reminded Dunphe of his father.

Dunphe allegedly stuffed a wash cloth in the victim’s mouth and filled his nose with paper towels to stop his breathing.

Police said he only stopped because he thought the other man was dead.

Dunphe’s lawyer told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that his client had some type of ‘‘psychotic break’’ that led to the alleged attack.

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