Deadly Hammer attack against elderly Pa. woman

February 21, 2011 5:46:58 AM PST
A man has been charged in a hammer attack that killed an elderly woman and injured her husband in their home.

Police in Spring Township, Berks County, say they were called to the couple's Stone Hill Farms home shortly after 6:30 p.m. Saturday and found 82-year-old Lucy Born dead. Police said her 86-year-old husband, James Born, was taken to a hospital for treatment of head wounds.

Prosecutors said a suspect who knew the couple, Manuel Carrero, of Shippensburg, was arrested early Sunday and was charged with criminal homicide, murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault. District Attorney John Adams told reporters Sunday that there was no known motive for the attack, which he called "a senseless act of violence perpetrated on an elderly couple."

Authorities said Carrero, who had known the couple for a decade through their son, went to the house and said he was in town visiting his mother and was invited in to help fix the couple's computer. Police allege that James Born was struck from behind on the second floor and his wife went upstairs and was attacked. They say a neighbor who heard someone yelling for help called 911.

Police said in an affidavit of probable cause that they arrested Carrero at about 4 a.m. Sunday at a relative's house and recovered a blood-stained hammer in a Wyomissing trash container.

The Berks County coroner's office said an autopsy on Lucy Born was scheduled Monday.

A telephone number listed for a Blandon home where authorities said Carrero, 36, had been staying rang unanswered Sunday. It was unknown whether Carrero had retained an attorney.

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