Charles Patterson, 61 [Updated]
Charles Patterson, 61, a black man, was found dead of a stab wound to the calf at 2232 S. Sycamore Ave. in mid-Los Angeles just north of the 10 Freeway by La Brea Avenue. His time of death was listed as 10:10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 14.
LAPD Wilshire Det. Mark Holguin gave this account: Patterson lived with his common-law wife Zelda Green, 54. That night, a conflict between them led to violence, and at some point, she got a knife and wounded Patterson in the lower leg.
Afterward, she urged him to go to the doctor and get the wound checked. He refused. He went into the living room to watch T.V. instead. She went to bed. During the night, he apparently bled out from a wound that might, in other circumstances, have been easily treatable. It's possible an underlying medical issue may have contributed to his death. In any case, she found him dead in front of the television the next morning. She called her son, who called police.
Patterson was much bigger than his common-law wife, and she had bruises from their conflict, Holguin said. She told police she had been beaten by him before. Initially, the D.A. sought a murder charge and she spent three days in jail before being released. The homicide is now being called as a possible self-defense killing with additional investigation pending.
[Updated Jan. 22, 2010: Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office, said Patterson kicked his wife while she was holding the knife -- leading to his injury. This case has been listed as undetermined, not as a homicide, because coroner's investigators do not know if the stabbing was intentional or accidental.]