TYLER (KYTX) -- An assault charge was dropped against Kelly Gage Monday and replaced with a new indictment accusing the man of murdering his wife.
Patti McHugh was badly beaten on Thanksgiving of 2011. She was hospitalized for a short time before dying due to the injuries she sustained in the beating, investigators said.
Gage was jailed once in connection with the incident. Charges were later dropped but he was indicted again earlier this year, accused of hurting McHugh but not having caused we death.
Prosecutors did not elaborate Monday on what changed in the case to allow for a murder indictment. District Attorney Matt Bingham simply noted that his office had the right to present any case to a grand jury at any time within the applicable statute of limitations.
Gage was convicted in 2010 of beating McHugh in a small town in Washington state. He also has two previous felony convictions.
Gage faces up to life in prison if convicted of McHugh's murder.