Saturday, February 6, 2016

Police: Man abused elderly couple who took him in

William Miller, 55. Philadelphia Police Department

A man is being held on $1.5 million bail for allegedly doling out regular and brutal beatings to an elderly Hunting Park couple who took him in five years ago.

William Miller, 55, was arrested Thursday.

Police said an 83-year-old woman and an 85-year-old man in 2009 allowed Miller to move into their home on the 3900 block of North Percy Street.

The couple felt bad for Miller because it was the middle of winter and he was homeless, according to investigators. Police said Miller was supposed to help around the house and assist the victims in return for the accommodations.

An investigation was launched last Sunday after the male victim, who suffers from unspecified medical conditions, was rushed by ambulance to Temple University Hospital.

The man was admitted for symptoms of neglect, as well as for injuries suffered during a recent assault by Miller, according to investigators.

The ensuing investigation allegedly revealed that, in 2011, Miller began to routinely beat both the man and the 83-year-old woman. Police said he would repeatedly ask the couple for money and assault them when they refused.

Several weeks ago, Miller allegedly punched the female victim in the face several times, causing swelling and pain. He threatened to kill both victims if they ever attempted to tell authorities about the abuse, police said.

Miller is charged with attempted murder, neglect of a care-dependent person and possessing an instrument of crime, along with two counts each of aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats and reckless endangerment, court records indicate.

He’s also charged with theft by failure to make the required disposition of funds received. Bail on all the charges was set at a total of $1.5 million.

Police said Miller has three prior arrests for burglary and narcotics.

Miller is next due in court May 12 for a preliminary hearing in connection with the theft charge. He will appear May 14 for a preliminary hearing in connection with the other offenses.

Police said the abuse investigation remains ongoing, and more arrests are possible.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; Follow @phillynews on Twitter.
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