Local News

Cary woman accused of attacking elderly mother with hammer

Posted January 14, 2009 11:45 a.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— A Cary woman facing a felony assault charge admitted to attacking her 86-year-old mother with a claw hammer, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Kathryn Carey, 63, of 202 Longchamp Lane, was arrested on one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious bodily injury in connection with a same-day attack on Elizabeth Belken.

"She did in fact intend to kill her mother," Wake County Assistant District Attorney Susan Spurlin said during an initial court appearance, in which District Court Judge Anne Salisbury appointed Carey a public defender and ordered her bond remain at $450,000.

Spurlin said Carey, who was believed to be off her medication for an unknown condition, called her mother Tuesday night and asked her if she could spend the night with her.

Sometime after she arrived at 100 Great Lake Drive, Carey followed her mother down a hall and started hitting her on the head with the hammer, Spurlin said. Carey also had a machete, but did not use it, police said.

Belken was able to grab the hammer and put it beneath her on the ground as her daughter allegedly continued the attack, Spurlin continued. Officers responded to the house after Belken called 911 and hung up.

"The victim was actually able to put up some resistance and was actually able to resist the attack, to some degree," Cary police Sgt. Randy Byrd said.

Belken was taken to a local hospital, where she was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. She was expected to be released Wednesday.

Carey has a pending stalking charge in another county and had been on probation for making harassing phone calls, Spurlin said. That probation was revoked when she was charged with stalking.

Cary police also were called to Belken's house in July 2007 about another altercation between mother and daughter, but no charges were filed then, police said.

This is the second reported attack on an elderly person in recent weeks in Wake County.

Last week, Apex police arrested Samuel Ray Topps, who is accused of pushing his 87-year-old mother multiple times during a Dec. 24 fight.

According to the North Carolina Division of Aging and Adult Services, as many as 2 million Americans over 65 have been somehow mistreated by their caretakers.

Nancy Warren, director of the division's Adult Protective Services, says one in five incidents of elder abuse gets reported because of shame and fear.