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Man severely beat woman in robbery on West Side, police say

By Staff reports

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Police are looking for a man they said severely beat a woman during a robbery inside a West Side real estate agency on Monday.

Jerry Smith, 39, of Charleston, is wanted for malicious wounding and robbery, according to a news release issued by Charleston Police Sgt. Tony Hazelett.

At about 1:15 p.m., police were called to Home Pro Realty at 415 Virginia St. W. in regard to an alleged assault.

Elizabeth Whitley, the agency's owner, told police that Smith had been loitering around her business for the past couple of days and she felt sorry for him, according to the release. Smith asked Whitley for money on several occasions and said he was unemployed. He also said he was dealing with the recent death of his mother.

On Monday, Smith went inside the real estate agency and asked Whitley for money again. Whitley said she didn't have any money and offered him a cup of coffee, police said.

Smith then became angry and, according to the release, struck Whitley in the face several times. Smith tried to pry Whitley's rings from her hands and attempted to rip off a necklace she was wearing, according to the release.

Whitley fought back and Smith allegedly chocked her with the necklace. Smith grabbed a screwdriver and stabbed Whitley several times under her chin, according to the release. Smith rummaged through Whitley's purse and wallet before fleeing. Whitley was taken to CAMC General Hospital in serious condition.

Anyone with information on Smith's whereabouts is asked to call Charleston Police Department's Criminal Investigation Division at 304-348-6480.  


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