Man charged with Joliet nursing home murder described as a ‘time bomb’

Witnesses alleged man yelled ‘die’ while striking victim

William Paschall

Staff at a Joliet nursing home described a 71-year-old resident charged with the murder of another resident as a “time bomb” who routinely argued with residents at the facility, prosecutors said.

The dispute on Friday that allegedly led William Paschall to fatally attack Michael Pappas, 61, began when Paschall saw what he believed to be feces on a washing machine at Salem Village Nursing and Rehabilitation, 1314 Rowell Ave., according to a court filing from Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Wilkes.

Paschall has been charged with the first-degree murder and aggravated battery of Pappas.

Paschall questioned Pappas about whether he would be cleaning up the feces, which led to a commotion that caught the attention of the nursing home staff, Wilkes said. One employee tried to keep both men separated but Paschall pulled Pappas toward him and punched him several times in the head, he said.

Witnesses told police that Paschall grabbed Pappas’ seated walker and began striking him while yelling, “Die [expletive],” Wilkes said.

Pappas had been a resident of Salem Village Nursing and Rehabilitation since 2016 while Paschall arrived about a year ago, Wilkes said. Pappas was described by staff as a quiet and respectful man.

Meanwhile, Paschall was described by staff as a “time bomb” who routinely argued with other residents in the home, Wilkes said.

Paschall admitted to police that he struck Pappas and that he has a “temper” like a “stick of dynamite,” Wilkes said. He later told police that when Pappas told him he was not going to clean the washing machine, he told Pappas, he “can put you in the washer and clean it that way,” Wilkes said.

Paschall told police that he “doesn’t back down from a fight,” and while he denied “being a tough guy,” he said he could “kick your [expletive],” Wilkes said.

When police were sent to Salem Village Nursing and Rehabilitation, they found Pappas unresponsive on the floor and not breathing in the laundry room, Wilkes said. Nurses and paramedics provided CPR to Pappas to no avail.

Pappas had been pronounced deceased at 12:23 a.m. on Saturday, Wilkes said.

On Sunday, a judge granted Wilkes’ petition to deny Paschall’s release from the Will County jail. Paschall has another court date slated for Dec. 7.