Merced man accused of leaving uncle to die

FRESNO, Calif.

A judge made that ruling Wednesday after Patrick Lara's preliminary hearing.

Investigators say the 45-year-old left his uncle's decomposing body in their home for a month, while using his ATM cards across the Valley.

Adrian Lugo, 63, died in January, but authorities did not discover his body until late February.

Wednesday, Lara's father told Action News he loves his son, and wonders if he may need psychiatric help.

"If he knew what he did, he was wrong. But only he knows and God, and he's in God's hands and so is Adrian," Frank Lara said.

Lara will go to trial on involuntary manslaughter and elder abuse charges.

He's scheduled to be back in court later this month.

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