Man charged with killing Texas woman, 83, in random attack

By Lisa Maria Garza

DALLAS (Reuters) - A man has been charged with murder in the beating death of an elderly woman who was on her way to visit a friend in a Dallas suburb when she was attacked at random, police said on Monday.

Jesse Perkins, 20, is accused of attacking Dessie Hancock, 83, on Friday as she walked up a driveway to visit a neighbor, said police in Irving, Texas. Hancock was taken to a local hospital where she died on Sunday night, authorities said.

"There remains no motive or explanation for the crime other than it was an unprovoked, random attack," Irving police spokesman James McLellan said in a statement.

Police said Perkins' two brothers Thomas Perkins, 18, and Edward Perkins, 19, were present during the attack but did not participate. All three had been charged with aggravated assault, but those charges were dropped, police said.

Investigators said the men came to the same home as Hancock looking for an acquaintance when they encountered the woman. Jesse Perkins is accused of punching, kicking and stomping Hancock before the men fled, McLellan said.

Thomas Perkins was charged with interference with public duties, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence and Edward Perkins was released on Monday afternoon, according to jail records.

Jesse Perkins and Thomas Perkins were being held awaiting a bond hearing, according to online records, which did not list a lawyer for either of the accused.

(Reporting by Lisa Maria Garza; Editing by Ben Klayman and Alan Crosby)