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Partner charged with murder after woman dies from severe beating

The death of a woman who was brutally beaten and found in a London motel room is now considered a homicide.

James Braun, 41, of London was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after an injured 39-year-old London woman was found by police early Sunday morning at a motel on Wellington Road South. The victim, who had suffered an apparent assault, was rushed to hospital in critical condition but died from her injuries on Wednesday. She has since been identified as Maryhelen Johnston of London.

The victim and the accused were in a long-term relationship, police said.

The charge against Braun was upgraded to second-degree murder on Friday. He is scheduled to appear in court on May 21.

Johnston’s death marks London’s fourth homicide of 2019.

Nicholas Baltzis, 25, of London was fatally stabbed in a Notre Dame Drive townhouse on January 6. Karl Hallman, 28, of London is charged with second-degree murder in connection with Baltzis’ death.

Roughly a month later, Brian Maksoud, 46, of London died after being found suffering from an arrow wound at a home on Arbour Glen Crescent, near Kipps Lane. Kevin Hartman, 35 of London is charged with first-degree murder in the February 5 homicide. Paul O’Connell, 47, London and Amanda Tait, 26, of London have also been charged in relation to the case. O’Connell is charged with being an accessory after the fact to aggravated assault and Tait with being an accessory after the fact to murder.

And just this week, 55-year-old Issara Norindr was stabbed to death in a Connaught Avenue apartment building on Monday. Samnang Kong, 38, of London is charged with second-degree murder in connection with the death.

-With files from Miranda Chant