A man accused of beating a sleeping man with a steel bar March 23 now faces a count of second-degree murder following the death of the victim on Thursday.

Wilson M. Cousin Jr., 46, accused of killing Richard Ray Gore, 66, was initially booked on a battery count, according to an East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office news release.

Detectives responded to 11342 E. Big Bend Ave. at 8:28 p.m. March 23 to investigate a report that a man living in a group home beat another resident with a steel bar, the release says. Gore was taken to a hospital with serious injuries and Cousin was booked with aggravated second-degree battery.

The charge was upgraded Friday to second-degree murder following Gore’s autopsy, the release says.

According to the release, Cousin told deputies Gore continuously disrespected him by calling him names.

Witnesses said Cousin picked up a three-foot long steel bar and began to strike Gore while he was asleep in his bed.

Gore was taken to a local hospital with multiple lacerations, broken bones and a possible fractured skull, the release says.