Lawyer: Man fatally beat father he thought was a vampire

Man charged with beating 92-year-old father to death, setting house on fire pleads mentally ill

HEMPFIELD, Pa. — A man who said he fatally beat his 92-year-old father in their home because he believed his father was a vampire has been sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison.

Douglas Novak pleaded guilty but mentally ill last November to murder, arson, reckless endangerment and risking a catastrophe charges. Authorities have said he fatally beat Frank Novak with the wooden arm of a dining room chair.

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The Novaks were found two days later when police responded to a fire at their Hempfield home. Authorities have said the fire started when candles used as part of a vampire ritual burned to the floor.

Speaking at Thursday’s sentencing, Douglas Novak’s lawyer said his client was off his medication when he attacked his father. He also said Novak stayed next to his father for the next two days because he wanted to kill him when he woke up by putting a stake through his heart.

Prosecutors disputed those claims, saying Novak told police that he beat his father because the older man was hiding his phone.

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