Dressed as Santa Claus and selling candy, a man repeatedly beat a 74-year-old woman over the head with a 2-by-4 in front of two Georgia State University students – one of whom tried to help the woman.
Still, Mr. Elkin Clarke claimed the woman died more than a month later from preexisting medical conditions and requested that the Supreme Court of Georgia overturn the conviction.
The following details were taken from court documents:
Mr. Clarke was dressed as a Santa Claus and selling candy with the woman, who changed her name to Michael Toles, when he hit her in the head with the board.
Two students who were meeting for lunch downtown saw Mr. Clarke, dressed in a Santa coat and a hat, lift up the board and hit the woman in the back of her head.
"Clarke struck Toles twice more while she was lying motionless on the ground," according to the court report.
One of the students, Ms. Aisha Albritton, attempted to confront Mr. Clarke, who was still holding the board.
But when he turned menacingly towards her, she backed away and he dropped the board and ran into a nearby restaurant where he got a plastic bag, took off his Santa trappings, grabbed the boxes of candy he had been selling and ran towards the closest MARTA station.
An officer detained the fleeing Mr. Clarke and returned to the crime scene where he found the woman unconscious on the ground with blood flowing from her ear and nose.
Ms. Toles was rushed to the hospital with fractures to her jaw and the temporal bone of her skull.
"Because of the broken jaw, Tole's teeth were wired shut and a feeding tube was inserted into her stomach,” according to the court report.
She died more than a month later on Jan. 21.
But Mr. Clarke claimed the evidence was insufficient to establish that his actions caused the woman’s subsequent death, and insist that her preexisting medical condition led to her demise.
But the medical examiner said the woman’s attack exacerbated her preexisting medical conditions and led to her ultimate death.
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