San Mateo County caretaker pleads guilty to beating man with own walker 

A cruel caretaker who clubbed an 88-year-old Millbrae client on the head with the victim’s walker is facing seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty Tuesday to five felony counts, according to San Mateo County prosecutors.

Jalome Balekaba, 50, is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 26 for the vicious attack that occurred Dec. 19, 2011. In a pre-sentencing report that might be issued by the defense before the November hearing, prosecutors are hoping Balekaba will finally reveal why he attacked the elderly client.

After striking the man with the walker, according to prosecutors, Balekaba apparently went for a nap in an adjacent bedroom, leaving the victim bleeding in the living room.

The incident unfolded when the victim’s nephew called police to report that Balekaba sounded drunk over the telephone, said San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. Officers subsequently responded to the residence on a welfare check and found the 88-year-old victim sitting in a chair and bleeding profusely from the head.

They then found Balekaba sleeping in a nearby bedroom, Wagstaffe said.

The victim was taken to the hospital, where he became comatose and was treated for a stroke, according to prosecutors. He died 10 weeks later.

Balekaba was charged with assault and elder abuse, but not murder, Wagstaffe said. A pathologist declared that it could not be conclusively determined whether the attack led to his death.

During Tuesday’s hearing, Balekaba pleaded guilty to all five charges against him, including assault with a deadly weapon and elder abuse. While he faced up to 11 years in prison on those charges, a judge reduced the maximum possible sentence to seven years, Wagstaffe said.

Balekaba remains in custody on $200,000 bail.

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