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Suspect In Brutal Charleston Robbery Taken Into Custody

Reported: Dec. 30, 2013 3:08 PM EST
Updated: Dec. 31, 2013 7:43 AM EST

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano Dipietrantonio) - Charleston police have arrested a suspect in a brutal robbery Monday evening.

Jerry Smith, 39, is accused in the beating, stabbing and robbery of Elizabeth Whiteley, 64, on Virginia Avenue West. She was transported to the hospital and is in serious condition, police said.

Beth Whiteley looked and sounded pretty good, considering she’d been stabbed with a screwdriver and beaten. We talked with her at her bedside, surrounded by her loving family. She told us her attacker had asked her for money and when she refused, he grabbed her by the hair and began to beat her.

"Her head was completely bandaged, her hair was matted with blood,” said Beth Whiteley’s husband John. “She was shaking from the adrenaline and she was really in bad shape."

That’s how Whiteley saw his wife in the ICU. It was a grim sight. She had been attacked at her mortgage office at Five Corners in the middle of a Monday afternoon, by a stranger she had befriended.

"He (Jerry Smith) had been coming in to her business, had some hard luck stories, his mother had died,, things like that,” said Whiteley. “She'd helped him out financially and she would sit there and talk with him, have coffee with him."

But Jerry Smith, the man who Charleston Police said attacked her, admits the stories of hard luck were all lies. He was living with his mom, who was very much alive, out of work and desperate.

"Just in the need of money,” said Smith sheepishly. “I'm a drug addict."

"They think he attacked her with a screwdriver,” said Whiteley. “She has a number of puncture wounds in the back of her skull. He also just beat on her."

"I just talked to her in the hospital room, her face is all swollen, she's got puncture wounds all over her head, you just had coffee with her, then you turn around and attack her? What were you thinking?,” we grilled Smith. “ I wasn't thinking,” he said shrugging his shoulders. “I really wasn't thinking at the time, I just needed money, and I just snapped."

"And she was trying to crawl under her desk for protection and he beat on her and stabbed her and was trying to get her rings off her fingers and he couldn't get them off and he was choking her with her necklace, trying to break that off," said Whiteley.

"I really, really do apologize for what I've done,” said Smith. “Should she forgive you?,” we asked. “I hope she does," he said as he was being led away in handcuffs.

"Kind of destroys your trust in human nature," said Whiteley.

Police knew exactly where to find Jerry Smith. He had given Whiteley his name and address a couple of weeks ago, the first time he had ask Whiteley for money. They picked him up right where he had told the Whiteley’s he lived. His bond is set at 250-thousand dollars.

Beth Whiteley hopes to move out of the ICU on Tuesday.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Jeff Morris) -- Charleston police said a suspect in a brutal robbery has been taken into custody.

Lt. Steve Cooper said Jerry Smith, 39, was arrested late Monday afternoon on Park Avenue on the West Side.

Smith is accused in the beating, stabbing and robbery of Elizabeth Whiteley, 64, on Virginia Avenue West. She was transported to the hospital and is in serious condition, police said.

Charleston police said they have obtained a warrant seeking the arrest of a man in connection with the robbery, beating and stabbing of a woman on the West Side.

Jerry Smith, 39, of Charleston is being sought on malicious wounding and robbery charges in connection with an incident that occurred about 1:15 p.m. Monday at Home Pro Realty at 415 Virginia St. W., according to a news release from the Charleston Police Department.

Police said the victim in the case, Elizabeth Whiteley, 64, said Smith had been loitering around the business for a couple of days and had asked for money on a couple of times. She said the man told her he had been out of work and his mother had passed away, and she gave him a cup of coffee. When she told Smith she did not have any money, she said, he became angry and struck her in the face several times. She said he attempted to pry the rings from her hand and to take necklaces from her neck. Whiteley said she tried to fight back to prevent Smith from choking her, but he grabbed a screwdriver and stabbed her underneath the chin and several times in the hand.

The suspect grabbed Whiteley's wallet from her pursue, rummaged through it and then left the business, police said.

Whiteley was transported to Charleston Area Medical Center General Hospital and was in serious condition.

-- Charleston Police Department Photo

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Leslie Rubin) -- Charleston police are investigating the robbery and beating of a woman on the West Side.

The incident happened just before 2 p.m. Monday inside of Home Pro Realty at 415 Virginia St. W., police said. The area is located at the Five Corners area of the city.

The woman was transported to the hospital. Her condition was unavailable.

Charleston police are investigating the incident.

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