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Benton Co. Officials: Elderly Woman Almost Beaten To Death

By Meghan Pinkley
By mpinkley@wbbjtv.com

According to the Benton County Sheriff's Department, an elderly woman in Benton County was nearly beaten to death with a hammer and a brick by a group of young men.

Sheriff Tony King said, the Bonnie Nelson is in critical condition and has traumatic brain injury. Sheriff King said Nelson is sufferings from level four brain trauma.

Twenty two-year-old Mitchell Hatch and 18-year-old Johnathan Robertson have been charged with attempted first degree murder and aggravated robbery.

Bonnie Nelson's "handyman", Paul Reagan, said he was baffled when he heard about his neighbor being assaulted, "I can't imagine anybody attacking her and it just shocks me."

Benton County Sheriff Tony King said there is a lot more to it then Nelson just being attacked. He said the elderly woman was found early Friday morning in her Big Sandy house. She had been beaten with a weapon and was covered in her own blood. Officials said Nelson had laid there injured and bleeding all night until she was found by a family member. "From the looks of the scene I thought we would be working a homicide," said Sheriff King.

Blood was found on a hammer and a brick in Nelson's house. Sheriff King believes there were the weapons used to attack Nelson, but there are a lot of unanswered questions at this time.

Authorities said when the elderly woman woke up and caught them, they attacked her.

Hatch and Robertson are being held in the Benton County jail on $500,000 bond. Sheriff King said there were still other suspects being questioned at this time.