Man accused of trying to kill roommate over electric bill


TIGARD, Ore. (KPTV/CNN) – Police in Oregon said a 72-year-old man tried to kill his 74-year-old roommate because she asked for his share of the electric bill. Now, he’s in jail facing several charges, including attempted murder. It happened in Tigard, southwest of Portland.

You can still see the bruises under Charlotte Simons’ eyes after she was attacked in her own apartment nearly two weeks ago.

She said she asked her roommate, Leo Miller, for his half of the electric bill, but he wasn’t ready to pay it. And what happened next landed him in jail.

Simons explained, “He said, ‘I’m going to kill you, you b****.’ Those were his exact words. My words were: ‘Leo?’” Investigators say Miller tried to kill her.

She said she was sitting in her recliner watching television when he came at her with a plastic bag around his hand. Simons said, “…went like so, and he thought he could suffocate me with that.”
She struggled to breathe and eventually played dead. “I just went limp and he thought that he killed me,” Simmons said.

She managed to pull out her Life Alert necklace to call for help. “They came on the line and said, ‘What’s your emergency?’ ‘I need the police, I need an ambulance, on the double!’”

But investigators said when Miller realized what she was doing he started punching her in the face. Her right eye was swollen shut. “This one, I couldn’t even open it, I mean it was a mess,” Simmons explained.

But at 74-years-old, she was determined to fight back. “That’s when I reached for his gonads and I just squeezed them as hard as I could. If I had a pair of cutters, he wouldn’t be wearing ’em today, he’d be at the hospital.”

Thanks to the call she was able to make, Tigard police interrupted the attack.

She spent two days in the hospital and Miller is now in the Washington County Jail facing charges including attempted murder, strangulation, and assault.

She says she’ll be happy if he never gets out. “If you want to beat up on somebody, go to the gym and work out on a body bag.”

Miller appeared in court last Monday and pleaded not guilty. His next court appearance is in March.

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