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Posted Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Iowa man, 76, who apparently wants to be a multimillionaire, on trial for severe attack on 81-year-old woman over gambling money
By The Associated Press

DAVENPORT, Iowa (AP) -- Testimony began Tuesday against a 76-year-old man accused of beating his 81-year-old neighbor with a hammer after she refused to give him gambling money.

Richard Edison Johnson is charged with attempted murder and willful injury. He is accused of striking Elizabeth Alwine on March 5, hospitalizing her with serious head injuries.

Both were residents of Lend-a-Hand, a home for elderly and handicapped people in Davenport.

John Fuller, the home's maintenance supervisor, testified that he entered Alwine's apartment after hearing noises and found the two in a bloody struggle over a hammer. He said Johnson then calmed down, while the woman -- whose face, arms, and hands were covered in blood -- remained hysterical.

Fuller said that as they waited for help, Johnson told him: ''I'm old. What are they going to do, lock me up?''

Fuller said Johnson repeatedly admitted to the attack.

Assistant Scott County Attorney Mike Walton told the jury that Johnson hit Alwine several times with a hammer after she refused to loan him money. She was treated and released from a Davenport hospital after getting 19 stitches.

Walton said Johnson had borrowed money from Alwine and her sister about a week earlier. Fuller testified that Johnson had a reputation for borrowing money from residents.

------ Information from: Quad-City Times, http://www.qctimes

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press

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