Man, girlfriend, mother accused of beating elderly neighbor with baseball bat

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A Union County man, his mother and his girlfriend are in jail, accused of beating their elderly neighbor with a baseball bat over the weekend.

Police said Eddie Lowery, 30, his mother, Patricia Benton, 49, and Lowery’s girlfriend, Elisha Hicks, 34, violently assaulted 73-year-old Willie Adams Saturday night at his home on Bigham Road near Waxhaw.

The beating was so violent that Adams remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Authorities said Benton and Lowery lived a few doors down from Adams, and that Lowery was known to visit  Adams often.

Detectives believe Lowery, Benton and Hicks wanted to rob Adams, and the trio went to his home Saturday night and attacked him with a baseball bat when he opened the door.

Adams was hit repeatedly with the bat before being robbed of his wallet, police said. The three are also accused of breaking the window of Adams’ vehicle and stealing cash from inside.

Adams was found by his cousin around noon the next day and was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

“He wasn’t looking too good, and I called out his name, and he couldn’t talk,” cousin Bobby Bradley said after discovering Adams.

Lowery, Benton and Hicks were charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury, robbery with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, first-degree burglary, breaking and entering a motor vehicle, and larceny.

“Our detectives worked together to quickly identify the people responsible for this senseless crime," Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. “I am very proud of the work they did. We also need to keep Mr. Adams and his family in our prayers.”

Nick Steffler is alarmed about what happened to his neighbor.

“To be that old and go through that concerned us,” Steffler said.

Neighbors wonder if the crew has tried this before.

“We heard of people going door-to-door to get money,” Steffler said. “After hearing this, it makes us wonder were they trying to find houses to make money so they could come back?”

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