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Woman beaten with baseball bat dies

Ochs

FORT WAYNE – A woman who was beaten with a baseball bat April 13 in Fort Wayne has died from her injuries.

Susan Lombardi, 42, died Saturday evening and an autopsy was performed Sunday, the Allen County Coroner's Office said in a statement today.

The cause of death was blunt-force trauma to the head, the statement said. Her death was ruled a homicide, the city and county's seventh of 2012.

Anthony R. Ochs had earlier been charged with attempted murder. The charge has now been upgraded to murder.

Police found Lombardi unresponsive on the kitchen floor, with her face and hair covered in blood, authorities said. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition, police said.

Doctors determined she had suffered multiple facial fractures and traumatic brain injuries.

Ochs, 39, told police he and Lombardi had been drinking and arguing in the time leading up to the beating. He acknowledged having a dozen beers beforehand, court papers stated.

According to court papers, Ochs acknowledged striking Lombardi at least once in the face with a wooden bat, but he could not recall exactly how many times or what had made him so upset.

Authorities allege he repeatedly hit her in the head with the bat. No one else witnessed the attack, court papers said.

In speaking with police, Ochs appeared calm and apologized for hurting Lombardi, his girlfriend of eight months, court papers stated.

He told police he should have just left the home in the 6300 block of High Point Run, near Coldwater Road and Interstate 69, authorities said.

Prior to this, Fort Wayne police had responded to one domestic violence report involving Ochs and Lombardi, according to court papers.

Along with attempted murder, Ochs was also facing felony charges of aggravated battery and battery.

Archie Ingersoll and Rebecca S. Green of The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

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