SOUTH LAKE TAHOE (CBS13) – A 71-year-old man is suspected of killing his roommate by hitting her in the head with a piece of firewood.

The incident happened last Sunday afternoon. South Lake Tahoe police say officers responded to a home along the 1100 block of Carson Avenue to investigate a report of a man hitting a woman with a large object.

Officers soon found the woman, 65-year-old Valorie Turley, in front of the home. She had significant head injuries and was first taken to Barton Hospital in South Lake Tahoe, then flown to Renown Hospital in Reno.

James Cleveland's booking photo. (Credit: South Lake Tahoe Police Department)

James Cleveland’s booking photo. (Credit: South Lake Tahoe Police Department)

Turley later died from her injuries, police say.

The suspect, James Cleveland, was arrested at the scene. Witnesses allege that Cleveland, who was roommates with Turley, was hitting her with a piece of split fiewood.

Exactly what led up to the attack is not clear.

Cleveland is in custody at El Dorado County Jail and is facing murder charges.

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