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Jun 14,2007
Man guilty of hammer attack
by UPI

DAVENPORT, Iowa - A jury has convicted a 76-year-old man from Davenport, Iowa, for attacking an 81-year-old woman with a hammer last March.

The jury deliberated for less than an hour before finding Richard Edison Johnson guilty of attempted murder and willful injury with serious injury by attacking Elizabeth Alwine with a hammer, the Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa) reported Thursday. The couple apparently argued over $200 Johnson owed to Alwine's sister and Alwine's refusal to loan him more.

Johnson faces 25 years in jail for the attempted murder conviction.

Defense attorney Phil Ramirez maintained his client's innocence, saying it was disappointing that Johnson's testimony failed to sway the jury. Johnson testified that Alwine cut him on the hand when he was leaving her senior-citizen housing apartment and when he pulled the hammer from his pocket she grabbed it and hit herself in the head, although he later told police he had hit her after she cut him.

"I don't think he was any less credible than (Alwine, the victim) was," Ramirez said.

Copyright ©  2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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