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Man allegedly bound, beat elderly mother in Murrieta

April 11, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Police say a 73-year-old woman was found duct-taped to a chair and bruised with broken bones in a retirement community in Murrieta on Sunday. The main suspect is her son, they said.

Investigators say the victim's son, 46-year-old Gregory Cornelius, bound his mother to a chair, beat her and cut the tube to her oxygen tank. Cornelius has been charged with attempted murder, kidnapping, false imprisonment and elder abuse.

Cornelius has pleaded not guilty and is being held on $1 million bail. His mother is recovering at the hospital.

Cornelius has prior charges including one that dates back to 2005 when he was initially charged with elder abuse against his mother. He later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of making a criminal threat and was ordered not to live with his mother.

Riverside County Supervising Deputy District Attorney Gerald Fineman said elder abuse is often under reported because parents don't want to turn in their own children.

"It's also someone who is probably taking care of them or assisting them in their daily life and worry about what would happen if that person is taken out of their life," Fineman said.

In 2011, the Riverside County District Attorney's Office filed 134 elder abuse cases. So far in 2012, they have filed 42.

"If we have the evidence to prosecute, we can prosecute even without the cooperation as you call it of the victim in the case," Fineman said. "It's being able to have that evidence and being able to proceed and to gather that evidence quickly."


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