BROWNSBURG, Ind. (WISH) – A former home health aide and her boyfriend are charged with murder after the beating and stabbing of a Brownsburg grandmother.
Arion Cruthird, 19 and Kiesha Summerhill, 18, both of Indianapolis, are charged in the murder of 74-year-old Alice Wright.
According to court documents, Summerhill had been a contracted aid through Richard L. Roudebush Veterans Affairs Hospital. She had cared for Alice’s husband, Kerney, for nearly a year.
Wright was found dead on the morning of Jan. 7. Kerney Wright was found on the floor and taken to a hospital.
Court documents state that the couple admitted to the crime to an acquaintance, who then told law enforcement.
The acquaintance said the couple admitted to the murder by showing a news story about the crime and saying they were responsible.
According to court documents, the couple went to the home on Jan. 5. They were able to walk in due to the door being unlocked. The couple used a BB gun to threaten Alice, then took her to the kitchen to get cash out of the freezer.
Alice then used her life alert system to try to contact emergency assistance, then Cruthird began to beat her, according to court documents. Cruthird then grabbed a knife from the kitchen and began stabbing Alice, leaving blood on the wall in the living room. The pair also struck Kerney several times with their fists, knocking him out of his wheelchair.
Court filings state “Kiesha and Arion believed that Alice had recognized Kiesha and she told Arion that he needed to kill her so they could not be identified” and that “Kerney was kept alive because he could not identify them.”
Cruthird then took Alice to the bedroom and stabbed her in the back of head and neck.
The acquaintance said that Alice begged for her life and that Arion said he “felt sorry” for her because he could feel the “crushing” of her neck and jugular.
The couple said they stole $1,500 and two guns. They said they got rid of the murder weapon.
Court filings also indicate Cruthird has gang ties, identifying himself as a “Gangster Disciple” and wearing a GD hat.
Cruthird and Summerhill were arrested on Jan. 12.
Cruthird and Summerhill appeared for an initial hearing via video monitor in a Hendricks County courtroom Tuesday afternoon. The parents of both defendants looked on from the audience.
“It was a nightmare. Didn’t seem real,” said Brandon Summerhill, Kiesha’s father. “Great student, hard worker, got her own place, her own car, great person.”
Arion Cluthird’s mother said her son hasn’t been in legal trouble before and she felt numb waiting for him to appear in the courtroom. Cluthird’s grandmother spoke on behalf of the family.
“No word that I can think of right now can express how deeply saddened we are for the loss of the family’s loved one,” said Jodie Taylor, Cluthird’s grandmother, referring to the Wright family. “Our thoughts and prayers are with their family.”
“I want to send my condolences out to the family that has lost a family member in this incident,” echoed Summerhill. “And to the co-defendant, I’m praying for you buddy. I actually like him. This is just really unfortunate to happen.”
The teenagers face 45 to 65 years in prison if convicted and up to a $10,000 fine. Both are being held in the Hendricks County Jail without bond. Their next pretrial date is set for March 6, with a jury trial tentatively scheduled for April 2, 2018.
Summerhill says his family is working to find out what really happened.
“I was already ready to fight. People don’t know, I’ve had full custody of [Kiesha] since she was 3 months old. I fought then so I’m going to fight for her now . We’ve just gotta fight. We’ve just gotta fight,” he said. “It hurts to hear your child charged with murder. We’re going to fight that.”
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