Altoona police arrested a woman Friday they said beat and robbed an elderly man on Sixth Avenue.
"I'm innocent," Sandra Kay Miller said as she awaited her arraignment just before noon Friday in Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey P. Auker's Fourth Street office. "I wouldn't hurt that man for all the money in the world."
It was for $1,200 that Miller, 54, of 601 Sixth Ave. bludgeoned a 75-year-old neighbor at his home on the 500 block of Sixth Avenue, police said.
Mirror photo by Greg Bock
Police said Sandra Kay Miller, 54, bludgeoned a 75-year-old neighbor at his home on the 500 block of Sixth Avenue.
According to Altoona Detective Matthew Starr, the man opened his door to Miller about 9:10 a.m. Tuesday and she struck him six or seven times in the head with a "cane or wooden stick."
Miller had been to the man's home earlier and asked for change for a $50 bill, police said. After the man said he didn't have it, Miller left but soon returned, police allege.
Miller allegedly left the man bleeding on the floor and fled after taking his wallet that held $1,200 in cash, money a friend said earlier this week was the proceeds of a used car sale.
"He was my friend," Miller said of the man in exclaiming her innocence. "I saw him everyday. I took him food."
Police told Auker during Miller's arraignment that she has an extensive criminal history in both New York and Pennsylvania. Auker leafed through the 35-page New York criminal history noting numerous theft-related charges, and Starr said Miller's Pennsylvania rap sheet was 15 pages long.
"That's so old - 20 to 30 years ago," Miller said of the criminal history reports.
Miller, who is charged with robbery, aggravated assault, theft, receiving stolen property, simple assault and harassment, was jailed in lieu of $35,000 cash bail and is due to appear Wednesday in Central Court for her preliminary hearing.
The friend, Don Bowers, said he was glad Miller was in custody.
"The neighborhood is a lot better without her," Bowers said.
The elderly victim had his right eye socket broken, had cuts to his head and both eyes swollen shut, police said. The man remains in intensive care at Altoona Regional, police said.
Mirror Staff Writer Greg Bock is at 946-7458.