Police: Elderly man tried to kill roommate over electric bill dispute

U.S. & World

TIGARD, OR (WCMH) – A roommate dispute over an electric bill has landed an elderly Oregon man in jail.

According to KPTV, Leo Miller, 72, is facing charges for attempted murder and strangulation after police say he tried to kill his roommate, 74-year-old Charlotte Simons. Miller moved in with Simons about six months ago after she placed an ad on Craigslist when she was having trouble paying bills on her fixed income. Simons said Miller became angry when she asked him to pay his half of the electric bill.

Simons told police she was watching television I her recliner when Miller tried to cover her face with a plastic bag wrapped around his hand.

“He thought he could suffocate me with that,” Simons told KPTV. “I played dead. I just went limp, and he thought that he killed me.”

Simons then pulled out her Life Alert necklace to call for help.

According to court documents Simons told dispatchers, “I need police. He’s trying to kill me.” Investigators say when Miller heard her calling for help, he began punching her in the face repeatedly.

“That’s when I reached for his gonads, and I just squeezed them as hard as I could,” Simons said. “If I had a pair of cutters, he wouldn’t be wearing ’em today.  He’d be at the hospital.”

Tigard Police responded to the home and arrested Miller. Simons was taken to an area hospital, where she spent two days recovering from her injuries.

Miller pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday. He is expected to appear in court again in March.

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