HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP, Pa. - Homicide charges have been filed against a man who police say beat his father before setting fire to his Hempfield Township home.
Douglas Novak was charged with setting the fire at his 92-year-old father's Courtview Drive home, but on Monday, police charged him with homicide.
Investigators said the fire isn't what killed Frank Novak.
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“Mister Frank Novak, the deceased, the 92-year-old man, had what appeared to be several injuries that would not be consistent with someone involved in a fire," Pennsylvania State Police Greensburg Trooper Steve Limani said.
Frank Novak was found dead in his bedroom with cuts and bruises all over his body.
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Police said two days before firefighters responded to the house fire, Douglas Novak allegedly admitted to police he thought his father hid his cellphone.
Novak allegedly confessed that he pushed his father causing him to hit his head on the coffee table, and continued beating him for hours.
“It appears he tried to cover up this beating by setting fire to the home," Limani said.
Novak allegedly told police he thought if his father died, his phone would reappear.
“He wanted to beat a confession of what happened to the phone and he believed (if) he kept physically hurting his father, he would get this information. It’s a shame it happened and it’s a tragic loss for their family," Limani said.
Novak was already arraigned on arson charges, but now that he's being charged with homicide, he won't be getting out of jail. His bond will be denied.
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