ELLICOTT CITY, Md. — Closing arguments are set to begin in the Howard County trial of a man charged with strangling a fellow patient at a state maximum-security mental hospital.

The case of El Soudani El Wahhabi is likely to go to the jury Thursday. He’s charged with murder in the death of Susan Sachs at Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center in 2010.

El Wahhabi’s attorney has argued that he killed Sachs as part of a half-fulfilled suicide pact, but prosecutors reject that claim.