An Oregon man upset over steep utility bills allegedly tried to kill his roommate with plastic wrap – an attack the elderly victim survived by playing dead and using her Life Alert system to call for help, court documents show.
Leo Joseph Miller, 71, was indicted this week for the Feb. 4 attack on Charlotte Simons, 74, whose apartment he moved into last year after she placed an advertisement on Craigslist in search of a roommate, court documents obtained by The Oregonian show.
Miller was angry about his share of utility bills that he had to pay when he approached Simons and held a piece of cellophane wrap over her nose and mouth as she sat in a recliner watching television. Simons then faked as if she was dead in a ruse to get Miller to stop, according to the documents.
Miller then knocked over the recliner and stopped attacking Simons for a moment, allowing her to reach for her Life Alert Emergency Response pendant to get help, the documents show.
Miller allegedly punched Simons in the face repeatedly after she alerted authorities and a responding police officer witnessed the enraged man still yelling at the woman upon arrival.
Simons suffered injuries to her right eye — which was swollen shut — and nose during the attack. She was expected to recover, the Oregonian reports.
Miller, who faces charges of attempted murder, second-degree assault, strangulation and unlawful use of a weapon, remained in custody at the Washington County Jail on $25,000 bond as of early Friday, jail records show.