SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A Sheperdsville man is charged with first-degree assault after police say he beat up his father, who later died at the hospital.

Joseph Shepherd, 48, is at the Bullitt County Detention Center for beating up his 78-year-old father, Paul Shepherd, per police.

“This confrontation that they had, just the way it happened, I don't think Joey ever meant to hurt his dad,” explained Paul’s wife, Jean Harper.

The two had been together for 12 years. She told WHAS 11 News Joseph was drunk and that Paul was trying to keep his son from driving. That's when the two got into a fistfight outside.

“His son hit him and he went down and he never got back up,” she explained.

Jean said she was home when it happened, watching through the window.

“I run out, and I just said ‘Paul, Paul,’ she explained. “And Joey was saying, 'Dad, Dad wake up,' but he couldn't wake up.”

WHAS11 News looked through Joseph's criminal history and found three charges for driving under the influence between 1992 and 2003. Jean said Paul tried to stop that from happening again.

“If he knew that he was in jail for this he would be devastated because he did everything within his power to keep him out of jail.”

She believes it was an accident, but is still struggling to face Joseph.

“I'm not ready to talk to him, but I forgive him. I forgive him.”

Shepherd is charged with first-degree assault. According to police, they have been in touch with the Commonwealth Attorney's Office and told WHAS 11 News more charges may come. He is currently in Bullitt County Detention Center with a $50,000 bond.