An elderly Danville man who was allegedly stabbed by his grandson three months ago has died in a Lexington medical facility.
The Fayette County Coroner’s Office notified Danville police of the death of Harold Long Friday evening, said Police Chief Tony Gray.
Long, 78, was stabbed once in the neck and four times in the left shoulder during an altercation with his grandson, Charles Vanhook, inside Long’s Goggin Lane home on Oct. 5. Long was never able to return home after the assault.
Vanhook, 37, of 209 Holladay Drive, No. 602, was indicted in November for first-degree assault and kidnapping. He remains in the Boyle County Detention Center under a $50,000.
Gray said an autopsy on Long was conducted Saturday at the state medical examiner’s office in Frankfort. The results of the autopsy will help authorities determine if the assault charge against Vanhook should be increased to murder.
“We’ll get together with the medical examiner after the autopsy to see if the death resulted from any of the injuries he sustained, and then we’ll talk to prosecutors to see if we need to upgrade the charges,” Gary said Saturday.
Determining the cause of death might be tricky, Gray said, due to Long’s age and the fact he was in poor health before the stabbing. Along with the stab wounds, possible brain injuries may have occurred after the oxygen Long used to aid his breathing was cut off for an extended period during the assault, police said.
“He was an older gentleman, and he had other issues,” the chief said.
Vanhook was indicted on a count of kidnapping for allegedly restraining his grandmother, Shirley Long, while he assaulted his grandfather.
Police have not discussed a potential motive for the stabbing. Harold Long’s son, James Long, who was at his father’s home immediately after the stabbing, said Vanhook has a history of mental illness.