‘I Heard a Kebang!’: Michigan Man Viciously Beat Elderly Roommate with Dementia to Death Over Taco Bell Meal, Police Say

A Michigan man is accused of killing his 72-year-old roommate in a late-night dispute over a Taco Bell meal, authorities say.

The incident happened back in January, and prosecutors quickly charged Newsome with second-degree murder, but they needed more evidence to strengthen the case. For several months, investigators interviewed witnesses and put together a timeline, and on June 18, the case was referred to a higher court for further action, according to a press release by the prosecutor’s office. Newsome is currently being held without bond in the Macomb County Jail.

Michigan Man Allegedly Beat Elderly Roommate with Dementia to Death Over Taco Bell Meal, Facing Life In Prison
Mark Newsome (Photo: Macomb County Prosecutor’s Office)

“Fighting and killing somebody over a taco or food itself, there’s gotta be more to life than that. It would have been a lot easier to walk away,” prosecutor Pete Lucido of Macomb County told Fox 2 WJBK. If convicted, Mark Newsome, 54, could spend the rest of his life behind bars.

On Jan. 31, a fight allegedly erupted between Newsome and the victim, senior Dale Mitchell, over a Taco Bell order in the small boarding house they shared in the Detroit suburb of Roseville. According to their fellow roommates, the yelling quickly escalated into a horrific physical altercation.

“I heard a kebang! Like a dresser was being thrown down,” recalled roommate Larry Melton to Fox 2 WJBK, who was awakened by the commotion. He then heard yelling, “‘Why are you doing this? Why are you doing this? Leave me alone! Quit, please quit.’ That’s what I heard,” Melton told reporters.

Investigators say that Newsome punched the older man several times in the head. Mitchell died from his injuries on the scene, and Newsome reportedly needed hospitalization. “There was blood all over upstairs,” added Melton.

Another roommate, Bob McQuade, was trying to fall asleep when the argument broke out. “Oh God, it scared the hell out of me, it really did,” he told local reporters after the incident, clearly rattled from the experience. “To think a fight over food would escalate into murder, it’s inconceivable.”

McQuade called the tragedy “senseless” and reported that he once considered the murder suspect a friend. “I trusted Mark as my friend. I could never believe he would’ve done something like that,” he told local reporters.

Friends of victim Mitchell described him as a “kind, gentle soul” who had been navigating health challenges before his death. He reportedly suffered a stroke recently and had been grappling with the effects of dementia, according to friends via the Macomb Daily.

As a beloved regular at several local bars, his memorial was held at Friends Tavern in the nearby city of Eastpointe back in February.

“We’re all still pretty devastated by what happened,” friend Bonnie Tata told reporters at the time. “Dale certainly didn’t deserve what happened to him.” She added that Mitchell didn’t trust his roommate, Newsome. “He thought Mark was a con artist. He suspected him of stealing money,” she revealed.

Newsome’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 2.

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