Phoenix police said Alex Guy Gillis Thrasher, 25, told them he wanted to kill Leslie Ann Marie Clark because she was mean, called him names and didn't contribute to society.
The Arizona Republic said Thrasher and his mother were both visiting Arizona from Bellingham.
It isn't immediately clear why Clark was hospitalized Monday.
Clark told police that Thrasher climbed into her bed in her private room at Banner Good Samaritan Hospital and began strangling her.
Hospital staffers entered the room, forcibly removed Thrasher and called police.
Thrasher is being held on a $250,000 bond. It's unclear whether he has legal representation yet.
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