Felon accused of fatally beating Menifee grandmother arraigned


MURRIETA (CNS) – A convicted felon accused of beating his 83-year-old grandmother at her Menifee home, inflicting ultimately fatal injuries, pleaded not guilty Thursday, Oct. 8 to murder and other charges.
Andrew Daniel Joseph, 41, was arrested soon after the Sept. 18 afternoon attack in the 26000 block of Ridgemoor Drive, near Menifee Road.
Along with the murder count, he is charged with elder abuse and a sentence-enhancing allegation of inflicting great bodily injury on a dependent adult.
Joseph was arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Paul Dickerson, who scheduled a felony settlement conference for Nov. 10 at the Southwest Justice Center in Murrieta.
The defendant is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the nearby Byrd Detention Center.
According to the Menifee Police Department, Joseph allegedly struck Ethel Heath, with whom he was staying, several times in the face, possibly during an argument. Heath managed to walk to a neighbor’s home, where she asked for help, at which point paramedics and police were called.
Authorities said patrol officers arrived minutes later and detained Joseph for questioning, while his grandmother was taken to Riverside University Medical Center in Moreno Valley.
The defendant was initially arrested for alleged assault, but after Heath died of her injuries two days later, prosecutors filed a murder charge.
According to court records, Joseph has a prior conviction for assault with a deadly weapon resulting in great bodily injury.