Brothers Convicted In Robbery That Blinded Woman

Pair Face 10 To 15 Years In Prison For Attacking 60-year-old

September 08, 1991|By Maria Archangelo | Maria Archangelo,Staff writer

WESTMINSTER — One city man faces up to 15 years in prison and his brother faces upto 10 years after their convictions last week in an armed robbery that left a former Main Street woman blind in one eye.

Ted Anderson,53, and Tom Anderson, 39, were convicted of robbery with a deadly weapon Thursday by Circuit Judge Francis M. Arnold.

Tom Anderson pleaded not guilty to the charge; Ted Anderson entered an Alford plea.

Under an Alford plea, the defendant acknowledges that the state has enough evidence to convict him of the crime, butdoes not admit guilt.

The charges against the two men stemmed from an attack on 60-year-old Eda Baker Stewart at her former home on East Main Street, according to a statement of facts read in court by Assistant State's Attorney Jill Trivas.

Trivas said the attack on the woman began around 11:30 a.m., when Tom Anderson came up behind Stewart and started "getting fresh." He was living in Stewart's apartment at the time and was dating Stewart's daughter.

Moments later, heput his arm around Stewart and pressed a serrated knife to her neck.Stewart's hand was cut in several places when she tried to push the knife away, Trivas said.

The scuffle between the two continued forseveral minutes. Stewart told police the next thing she remembered was lying on the bathroom floor with blood all over her. Her right eyewas swollen and her left eye was bloodied.

Ted Anderson was with her in the bathroom, and he told her to "behave herself" or she wouldbe killed, Trivas told the court.

He then told Stewart to take off her five rings.

When Stewart told him she could not get the rings off, the elder Anderson told her he would cut her fingers off if hehad to.

Stewart handed over the five rings, worth about $37,000, the statement of facts said.

The two men then forced Stewart to write them a personal check for $1,000. While rifling through Stewart'scheckbook and wallet, the brothers talked about fleeing to Florida or the West Coast, Trivas said.

The brothers then told Stewart theywere taking her with them. When they brought her out to the back porch of the home, Stewart began screaming "they're trying to kill me," Trivas said.

The screaming prompted Ted Anderson to run through the house and out the front door, Trivas said. Three men in a nearby yard tackled the younger brother and held him until city police arrived.

Stewart was flown to the Maryland Shock Trauma Unit at University Medical Center in Baltimore after the attack. She spent four days there and underwent surgery for a detached retina, Trivas said.

Trivas said the woman -- who now lives with her son in New Jersey -- will have to undergo another operation but doctors believe she will remain legally blind in her right eye.

In exchange for the brothers' agreement not to contest the facts in the case, the state dropped charges of assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to rob, theft, malicious destruction, assault with intent to maim, battery, credit card theft, conspiracy, assault with intent to rape and a second-degree sex offense.

The state also agreed to argue for a sentence no longer than 15 years for Ted Anderson and no longer than 10 years for Tom Anderson.

Arnold set the brothers' sentencing hearing for Dec. 20. The judge ordered the men to be held without bail until theirsentencing.

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