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LPD: Elderly man beaten with hammer
May 15, 2006 12:00 am
May 9, 2006 – A 71-year-old Lebanon resident was brutally attacked inside his own home early Saturday morning and remained unconscious and in critical condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center on Monday, police said.
James Lanier, 71, of 226 W. Spring St., was beaten about the head and face with a hammer in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to a police report. But it was not until 3 p.m. Saturday when Lanier was first discovered laying unconscious in his home, having sustained multiple injuries from what police described as a "bludgeoning."
Paramedics immediately rushed Lanier from his home to University Medical Center where LifeFlight airlifted him to the Nashville hospital.
Police said Lanier, who they believe is retired, was first discovered by his grandson-in-law.
Lebanon Police Chief Scott Bowen said authorities have not made any arrests, nor would they release the names of any suspects.
"We have interviewed what I would describe as a person of interest, but have not charged anybody at this point," Bowen said.
Lanier's condition, which is critical, has impeded the police's ability to interview him.
"Anytime you can't talk to your victim it hinders your case," Bowen said.
Still, police hope interviews with family members yield information that could lead to a suspect.
Bowen said the police have reason to believe the victim and his attacker were not strangers.
"We don't believe it was a home invasion or a burglary. A robbery could be the motive, but at this point were not sure," Bowen said. "But we fully believe he (Lanier) did know his attacker."
Police have recovered the weapon, which was described only as "a hammer," as well as several additional items from the scene.
Bowen said he is hopeful a speedy arrest can be made.
"This has got to be a cold-blooded person to beat a 71-year-old person with a hammer," the chief said.
Staff Writer Jared Allen can be reached at 444-3952 ext. 15 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.