NEW INFO: Man Sentenced For Attacking Mother in Hospital

By: Jeremy Edwards, Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Jeremy Edwards, Brooks Jarosz Email

UPDATE 2/14/13 @ 2:40 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A son who brutally attacked his mother in a hospital waiting room is headed to jail.

Talton Pratt was sentenced Wednesday to one to five years in prison.

Pratt and his mother, Marcia Chandler, were at Thomas Memorial hospital in South Charleston at the same time back in May. That is when Pratt beat her unconscious.

Chandler spoke out in court and said she still can't believe this happened.

This family is no stranger to domestic violence.

Pratt's sister, Starlena, died after she was set on fire by her boyfriend, Farley Rhodes. He is currently serving a life sentence.



UPDATE 9/28/12 @ 5 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The case against a son accused of attacking his mother in a hospital waiting room is moving forward.

Talton Pratt pleaded not guilty to several charges Friday.

Police say Pratt and his mother Marcia Changler were at Thomas Memorial Hospital at the same time back in May.

Pratt is accused of beating her unconscious.

A witness tried to help, but Pratt attacked him as well.

His trial has been set for December 17.



UPDATE 5/17/12 @ 5:45 p.m.
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- The man accused of brutally beating his mother in a hospital waiting room makes his first appearance in court, Thursday.

It’s an attack that’s tearing this mother apart.

"It hurts me to my heart that someone would hate me that much, especially someone I birthed," Marcia Chandler, victim said.

Marcia Chandler sais her son, Talton Pratt, attacked her while she was sitting in a waiting room at the hospital. But what brought the pair to the hospital at the same time is pure coincidence. Talton was there with his girlfriend, Chandler was visiting her mother. When the two saw each other, Talton started yelling.

"Ms. Chandler was telling him to leave, just leave,” Patrolman Richard Vineyard, Charleston Police Department said. “At that time Mr. Pratt threw orange juice in her face, she stood up to try to get away from him. He grabbed her and threw her to the floor.”

That’s when police said he started beating his mother until she lost consciousness and continued the attack until Jefferson Gray intervened.

"I yelled at him to stop,” Gray said. “I said don't do that."

But Pratt then turned his attention to Gray and attacked him.

"He grabbed me and we kind of went round and round a little bit there near the furniture and stuff and I got my arms around him so he couldn't hit me in a bear hug and he bit me here on my chest," he said.

The reason for all of the hatred towards his mother is still unknown although police said Pratt told them he blames her for his sister’s death. Starlena Pratt died after her boyfriend set her on fire in 2008.

A vicious cycle that continued within the family. This latest assault, tearing them apart.

The judge found probable cause to send Pratt’s case to the grand jury, however he dropped two malicious assault charges against him. Pratt now faces two counts of malicious wounding and escape. The defense also requested Pratt’s $100,000 bond to be lowered but that was denied.



ORIGINAL STORY 5/11/12
SOUTH CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A mother says she became the victim of a vicious attack by her own son in a hospital waiting room.

South Charleston Police arrested Talton Pratt, 30, after officers say he assaulted his mother, punched and bit emergency room workers and attempted to escape from the police station.

A family devastated by the horrors of domestic violence has been dealt another heavy blow.

Marcia Chandler says her son knocked her unconscious after she was attacked and brutally beaten Wednesday in the Thomas Memorial Hospital waiting room.

"He started crushing me," Chandler said. "I guess when he got tired with that, he just kept ramming my head into the wall and then, after a while, I just gave up."

Patients and emergency room workers witnessed the assault and rushed to try to help, but ended up hurt.

"Some people were bit, some people were kicked, some people were hit," Assistant Police Chief Robert Houck said. "The ER staff came out to restrain him, and that's when we arrived."

Police arrested Talton Pratt and took him to the station. Pratt asked to make a call, but then bolted out the back door.

Officers chased him several city blocks and then had to use a Taser on him three times before cuffing him again.

Meanwhile, it's left a mother barely able to take the pain.

"It hurts me to my heart that someone would hate me that much, especially someone I birthed," Chandler said.

It's a cycle of domestic violence for Chandler who already lost her daughter, Starlena Pratt. Pratt was doused with lighter fluid and set on fire by her boyfriend, Farley Rhodes, in September 2008. She suffered in the hospital for weeks and later died. Rhodes was sentenced to life in prison.

"She's in my heart everyday and I know -- I talk to her all the time," Chandler said.

Chandler is still recovering from the physical pain, but the emotional pain is something she says she'll have to live with for the rest of her life. She says her son has hated her for years, but she still doesn't understand why.

"It came across my mind just let him go and take my life," Chandler said. "Just take me because I cannot believe that something that I brought into this world would hate me that much."

Pratt was charged with two counts of malicious wounding. He's in jail on a $50,000 bond.

This is not the first time Pratt has been in trouble. In 2009, he was arrested for beating his ex-girlfriend at an apartment on Colonial Park Drive in South Charleston. Police say Pratt hit the woman in the face and hand, leaving her face bruised and swollen.

Area groups are working to help those domestic violence victims and their families. The Domestic Violence Counseling Center encourages victims to do what it take to notice the signs and get out before it's too late.

"We can make a dent in domestic violence by trying to educate more people and to let them know that counseling is here for them," co-director Nancy Blackshire said.

To learn more and get assistance, the center can be contacted at 304-342-7752.


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