Wheelchair-bound man killed in nursing home over fight about money; family seeks justice

A fight at a nursing home in East Austin ended with the death of a wheelchair-bound man, and now his family wants justice.

Police say on Nov. 18, 68-year-old Baron Godwin was killed at the "Oasis at Austin" nursing home on Rogge Lane.

His family says he was only supposed to be there for a few weeks because of a brain injury. 

"That is crazy that you can not come out from a nursing home, it's still mind-blowing to me, like that could happen in a place where you're supposed to feel safe," Erica Gonzales, his daughter, said.

62-year-old Ronnie Green was arrested for his death.

Ronnie Green, 62, was arrested and charged with Injury to the Elderly, a 3rd Degree Felony. (Photo courtesy: Austin Police Department)

Godwin's family says they have yet to hear details from the nursing home. 

"They just said he slipped and fell," Erica said.

Godwin's roommate told them what happened when they went to get his belongings.

"He is like, 'he didn't fall.' He's like, ‘he got hit in the head, cracked in the head’, exact words, he said with the wheelchair feet," Erica said.

According to Green's arrest affidavit, a witness saw Green punching Godwin in the face on the patio and told an employee, but when the employee went to look, both men were sitting on a bench breathing heavily. Green said they weren't fighting. 

The employee left until someone said a person was hurt on the patio. Godwin was lying in front of the bench with blood around him. 

RELATED: Man arrested for attacking, killing elderly man in wheelchair: APD

When police questioned Green, he said Godwin gave him $50 to buy a lottery ticket, lighter, and crack cocaine. Green said he brought the items back and gave Godwin the change, but Godwin thought he kept some of the money, which led to a fight. Green admitted he pinned Godwin to the ground and hit him in the face and that Godwin fell out of his wheelchair.

Green is charged with injury to the elderly. He's being held on $50,000 bond.

"He's not charged with murder. They're giving them this low bond. That just doesn't make sense to me," Reuben Gonzales, Baron's son, said.

FOX 7 asked APD if charges would be updated. They say it's an ongoing investigation, and if there are new details available, they'll send an update. 

"He took a very important person away from us," Julie Villarreal, Baron's wife, said. "We raised three children, 12 grandkids and two great grandkids, and he loved them."

"Just a jack of all trades, happy, loving, especially for his family," Erica said.

68-year-old Baron Godwin was killed by Ronnie Green in an Austin nursing home.

They also want accountability from the nursing home. 

"We just want them to give us answers. Why so negligent? What kind of place is that?" Erica said.

The Oasis told FOX 7 they didn't have any comment.

"How can a fight like that happen in your facility and nobody knows anything? We want justice. We want those people to pay for what they did. We lost our dad. It wasn't like a little physical fight. Somebody died," Erica said.

Green's attorney says he doesn't comment on pending cases.

Godwin's family will be having a benefit on Friday, Dec. 1 at noon to raise money for funeral expenses. It will take place at 15214 Wideleaf Cove in Austin. There's also a GoFundMe page.