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Madison man charged in beating death of elderly neighbor

MADISON (WKOW) -- Prosecutors allege a Madison man displayed a gun and threatened others before killing an elderly man.

Saynit Keokanya, 38, is charged today during a Dane County Court hearing with first-degree intentional homicide in the death of 81-year-old Nang Yee Lee. Lee was found Friday in his apartment, critically injured. He died at the hospital three days later.

Lee was beaten with a gun, according to the court proceedings Friday afternoon.

Prosecutors allege Keokanya tried to shoot Lee, but when the gun jammed, he beat the elderly man. Lee and Keokanya lived in the same apartment complex.

Prosecutors also allege Keokanya tried to kick in the door of another residence that night. The mother and young child who lived there were not home at the time, prosecutors said during the court hearing.

Keokanya's defense attorneys say there is evidence mental health may be a factor in this case and Keokanya has no prior criminal history. Despite their argument Keokanya is not a flight risk because he is a life-long Wisconsin resident with family in Madison, the court commissioner set his cash bail at $500,000.

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Dani Maxwell

Dani Maxwell is the Content Manager for 27 WKOW.

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