Police: Son killed Rohnert Park woman with baseball bat

  • Investigators Tuesday evening awaited issuance of a search warrant before searching the home on Bernice Drive in Rohnert Park where the body of a 66-year-old woman was found amid signs of a violent confrontation.

Dianne Hughes, 66, was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat by a son who was angry at being ordered to move out of her Rohnert Park home, according to investigators.

A day after her body was discovered on Tuesday, detectives tracked Dennis Hughes, 41, to a San Francisco apartment where he was shot to death during a police standoff.

Hughes had been living at his mother's Bernice Avenue home since January.

"He was keeping her up at night ... rummaging around the kitchen ... starting to act a little strange," Lt. Jeff Taylor of the Rohnert Park Public Safety Department said Friday.

Family members told police Dennis Hughes told his mother he'd go, but changed his mind.

"And then he destroyed sentimental property — a teddy bear from a deceased friend of mom," said Taylor. After that, she again told him he had to leave.

Tuesday afternoon officers found her bloodied body in her home. She'd suffered blunt force trauma to her head and a baseball bat was seized as evidence.

Detectives quickly traced Hughes to his girlfriend's San Francisco apartment.

Hughes wouldn't come out of the Post Street residence when detectives arrived on Wednesday. As San Francisco officers went into the apartment, he began shooting and they retreated, police said.

He also ignited least two fires in the apartment. The city's SWAT team and firefighters joined the effort and at least 180 neighbors from nearby apartments were evacuated.

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