Indiana man accused of beating mother to death charged with assaulting hospital patient
An Indiana County man accused in the 2015 beating death of his mother allegedly choked another patient at Torrance State Hospital in Derry Township this month.
Todd Royce Walters, 40, is charged with strangulation, simple assault and harassment in connection with an April 18 incident.
Walters has been undergoing treatment at the hospital since his arrest on homicide charges. He is accused of beating his mother, Ruth Shirey, 72, to death on Feb. 20, 2015 at their Indiana home. Shirey was a retired geography professor at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Walters was arrested in Altoona the following day and has undergone numerous evaluations and competency hearings. Trial is tentatively set for June.
Troopers were called to the Derry Township facility at 7:30 p.m. April 18. A witness said she saw Walters attack another patient and put him in a chokehold, according to court papers.
The victim told troopers he was “taken by surprise.” He had a cut finger and muscle strain, according to court papers. Employees broke up the alleged assault, police said.
Walters refused to talk to investigators without a lawyer. A May 29 preliminary hearing is set.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .