Published: Apr 29, 2013 11:38 AM EDT
Updated: Apr 29, 2013 5:57 PM EDT

LEHIGH ACRES, Fla.- A Lehigh Acres man has been charged with Second Degree Murder following his girlfriend's death in the hospital.

On April 2, deputies were called to 18 Alabama Road South, where they learned 61-year-old Elizabeth Browder, a disabled adult, had been severely beaten by her boyfriend.

Browder was transported to the hospital and made several statements to medical staff that her boyfriend/caregiver repeatedly struck her in the head. MCU detectives met with the boyfriend identified as 54-year-old Billy Dwayne Elrod. During the investigation, Elrod was arrested on April 4 for aggravated abuse on a disabled adult and given a $200,000 bond.

Browder remained in the hospital for continued medical treatment. She died on April 24 as a result of the injuries sustained from Elrod's attack. Elrod's charges were then upgraded to Second Degree Murder. Elrod remains in the Lee County Jail with no bond. 

Browder had told deputies that she accidentally touched Elrod's toe the night of April 1 while they were sleeping. She said he got out of bed and hit her in the head multiple times. She said she fell and then hit her head on the tile floor. She went to the hospital the next day.

Browder was disabled and relied on Elrod to take care of her.

One neighbor told WINK News that he often heard the couple yelling and fighting. Matt Smith said, "surprised, obviously what he did. I'm not too shocked based on what I heard in the past coming from over there. A lot of arguing, yelling, a lot of drug references and things like that."