Man accused of beating his mother to death, abusing sisters

(Fall River Police Department photo)

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP/WPRI) — A Fall River man is being charged with beating his mother to death and neglecting his siblings with mental disabilities.

The Bristol County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday that 56-year-old Antonio Branco was indicted on charges of murder, assault and battery upon a person with a disability, and related crimes.

Prosecutors say police were contacted after Branco’s mother, 78-year-old Maria Branco, was hospitalized on April 9 with wounds to her back, shoulders, buttocks, knees and ankles. She died from her injuries April 13.

Police who responded to the family’s home in Fall River found Branco’s adult sisters locked inside. Police say the women, ages 56 and 49, were injured. Police said the 56-year-old woman told police that her brother beat them.

In a statement to Eyewitness News, Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine said:

“This is a particularly disturbing case. A senseless, horrible death – a death that never should have happened. A death that shook hardened homicide investigators.”

Branco is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday. It’s unclear whether he has a lawyer who could comment.

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