A charge against a Danville man accused of stabbing his grandfather has been upgraded to murder by a Boyle County grand jury after autopsy results showed that the elderly man died as a result of the wounds he suffered.
Charles Vanhook, 37, of 209 Holiday Drive, was initially charged with first-degree assault on Harold Long for allegedly stabbing him in the neck and back with a kitchen knife inside Long’s Goggin Lane home on Oct. 5. Long never returned home from the hospital after the attack and died Jan. 3 in a treatment facility in Lexington.
Long, 78, was suffering from a variety of medical issues before the attack and authorities were initially unsure if his death resulted directly from his stab wounds. Commonwealth’s Attorney Richie Bottoms said Friday that an autopsy conducted by State Medical Examiner John Hunsaker determined the stab wounds — not a preexisting medical condition — caused Long’s death.
Armed with that information, Bottoms represented the case to the grand jury last week, resulting in the indictment for murder.
Vanhook remains in the Boyle County Detention Center, where he is now being held without bond.
Police have not released a possible motive in the attack. A family member at the scene of the stabbing said Vanhook has a history of mental illness.
A competency hearing to determine if Vanhook is mentally able to assist in his defense is scheduled for March 5 before Boyle Circuit Judge Darren Peckler.