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Neighbor charged in murder of elderly woman

ROMNEY, W.Va. — An elderly woman was found dead Saturday in her front yard and her 27-year-old neighbor jailed on a murder charges.

Hampshire County deputies said Betty Crouse, 83, was found lying in her front yard by her son. Authorities believe the neighbor, Joshua Garrison, had broken into her home to steal medication.

Joshua Garrison

“He basically told us he went to the residence and was breaking in the back door when he was confronted by the victim,” said Hampshire County Chief Deputy Nathan Sions.

“When she saw him coming through the door she attempted to escape, he caught up with her as she was going down the ramp, he caught up with her and that’s when the murder took place.”

Garrison claimed to be drunk when the crime was committed and said he believed she would be able to identify him as the one who had broken into her home, deputies said.

Sions called it a brutal murder.

“He said that he choked her,” Sions said. “But there are obvious injuries to her head and arms consistent with her being struck with an iron skillet found near her body and a hammer.”

Garrison was lodged in the Potomac Highlands Regional Jail.

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