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UPDATE: Man Accused of Brutal Beating Speaks, Blames Drug Addiction

By: Rahel Solomon; WSAZ News Staff Email
By: Rahel Solomon; WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE 12/30/13 @ 10:47 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A man accused of violently beating the woman who tried to help him has confessed to the crime, claiming his addiction to drugs fueled the attack.

“I just want to apologize, I'm real, real sorry for what I've done,” suspect Jerry Smith said Monday evening before being arraigned. ”I've just been struggling real, real bad.”

Smith's apology is likely little consolation for the Whiteley family. Betty Whiteley had helped Smith for nearly a week before Monday’s violent attack.

“She had been giving him money and cups of coffee and this particular day she didn't have any money to give him so he attacked her,” Charleston Police Lt. Steve Cooper said.

Smith was arrested Monday night.

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

The attack was so brutal that Betty Whiteley remained in intensive care Monday night at Charleston Area Medical Center’s General Hospital.

John Whiteley says his wife is physically bloody and bruised but she is scarred even worse emotionally.

“She says she can still feel him beating on her, she keeps on having flashbacks,” John said.

Charleston Police say during the savage attack, Smith hit Betty in the head and then tried to forcibly steal her rings and necklace.

Smith is facing charges of robbery and malicious assault. As it turns out, he has a criminal past that includes purse snatching, larceny, domestic battery and shoplifting.

“When something like this happens,” John said, “you try to help someone and they turn on you. It hurts your faith in human nature.”



UPDATE 12/30/13 @ 6:10 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police say they have arrested a man in connection with a brutal beating and robbery on the city's West Side.

It happened inside a business on Virginia Street late Monday afternoon.

Police say Jerry Smith asked a woman working in the business for money. When the woman said she didn't have any, police say Smith attacked her and tried to steal her rings and necklace.

She fought back, and that's when Smith is accused of stabbing her with a screwdriver in the chin and face.

He's been charged with malicious wounding and robbery.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



UPDATE 12/30/13 @ 5 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman who says she was trying to help a man who was down on his luck is in serious condition after the man beat and robbed her.

Charleston Police say Elizabeth Whitley, who works at Pro Realty, in the 400 block of Virginia Street West, was beaten and robbed about 1:15 p.m. Monday.

Police say Jerry Smith, 39, of Charleston, had been loitering around the business for the past couple of days.

They say on a couple of occasions, Smith asked Whitley for money. She said she felt sorry for him and was trying to help him out. Smith told her he had been out of work and his mother recently passed away.

Monday, police say Smith entered the business and Whitley offered him coffee.

They say Smith asked for money and when Whitley told him she didn't have any, he hit her in the face several times.

He is accused of trying to pry the rings from her fingers. Police say he also choked Whitley with her necklaces, as he tried to rip them off.

Police say Whitley was trying to fight back and stop Smith from choking her, when he grabbed a screwdriver and stabbed Whitley underneath the chin and several times in the hand.

Police say Smith grabbed Whitley's wallet from her purse, rummaged through it and left the business.

Whitley was taken to CAMC General Hospital, where she is in serious condition.

Warrants have been issued for Smith's arrest. He will be charged with malicious wounding and robbery when he is caught.

If you have any information on Smith's whereabouts, call Charleston Police at 304-348-6480.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.



ORIGINAL STORY 12/30/13 @ 3:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Charleston Police are investigating a robbery and beating that happened Monday afternoon.

Police say a woman was beaten and robbed just after 1 p.m. in the Five Corners area on city's west side.

Police say a man walked into an insurance company and asked a woman working there for money. They say when she told them she didn't have any cash, he attacked and robbed her.

The woman was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

No arrests have been made.

Keep clicking on WSAZ.com for the latest on this story.


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