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UPDATE: Judge increases bond for elderly beating suspects

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Lester "Jimmy" Cawood Lester "Jimmy" Cawood
EAST BRAINERD, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: A grand jury will now hear the case against two men accused of beating an elderly man. 

We first told you about this case in July, when Tyler Richardson, 20, and Jacob Berry, 26, were arrested for beating and robbing Jimmy Cawood, 72. 

Judge Gary Starnes raised bonds for both men after hearing an overwhelming amount of testimony Tuesday from both the victim and investigator. 

Richardson's bond is now set at $350,000 and Berry's bond is now at $150,000. 

"I think it's a particularly heinous type of crime that could have very well killed this older man. Fortunately it didn't," Starnes said. 

The pair is accused of beating Cawood before robbing him of his wallet and truck. 

Tuesday's preliminary hearing was the first time Cawood saw the men since the attack. 

"It kinda hurt. I know their parents, their grand-daddies. If it was a stranger, it would be a different story, you know what I mean?" Cawood said. 

Cawood testified the pot and frying pan Richardson used to beat him with caused several broken bones and cuts on his head. 

"Had it been in your kitchen prior to this?" 
"I washed it that morning after I cooked my breakfast, it was drying in my drain," Cawood said. 

Investigator Jon Watkins also testified during Tuesday's hearing. He said Cawood's truck was found in Fort Oglethorpe a couple of days after the attack. 

"His wallet was recovered out of the vehicle that was missing and also a frying pan that Mr. Cawood identified as being used in the incident," Watkins added. 

But it would be surveillance video that let investigators to both suspects after Watkins said the pair was caught trying to use Cawood's debit card in several locations in Georgia and Tennessee. 

Cawood is still recovering from his injuries in that attack and says he now deals with frequent headaches. 

"I hope they learned a good lesson and if they do get some time out of it, I hope they get off the drugs or whatever they're on, you know what I mean," Cawood said. 


The case where two men beat and robbed an elderly man will now be bound over to the Grand Jury. 

During testimony Tuesday morning, 72-year-old victim Jimmy Cawood spoke about the attack that left him with broken bones and a deep gash on his head.

Police investigators said that neither the pot nor the frying pan used in the attack had been tested for fingerprints. The pot had blood, and the frying pan was folded nearly in half.

One investigator described Cawood as "covered in blood" when he met him at the ER after the attack. 

Two men that Cawood knew robbed him after the beating and allegedly stole his truck which was later found. His wallet was also taken in the robbery.


PREVIOUS STORY: We're learning more about what may have driven two men to beat an elderly man last week. 

It happened at Lester (also known as Jimmy) Cawood's home on East Mountain Lane. 

Covered in bandages and bruises, Cawood stood in front of a Hamilton County judge. 

A few feet away stood one of the men police say is responsible for Cawood's injuries, Tyler (also known as Dylan) Richardson, 20. 

Jacob Berry, 26, is also charged in the crime but didn't appear in court Tuesday. 

It's the first time the 72-year-old has been in the same room with either of the men accused of beating him so badly, he needed 30 stitches in his head and has several broken bones. 

Police say the two then took off in Cawood's car with a pocket full of cash, although Cawood said it wasn't much. 

"They thought I had money or something? I didn't have any  money. I had, I don't know, probably $35-40 somewhere in my billfold," Cawood said. 

But now we're learning more about what may have driven both men to commit such a violent crime against someone considered a family friend. 

Channel 3 spoke to Richardson's family, who declined to go on camera, but did say what happened is the result of a drug addiction and they are sorry for what happened to the Cawood family. 

"I was always raised to forgive people and I believe they should be forgiven but I think they should still be punished, " Cawood added. 

Both men won't be getting out of  jail anytime soon as they were both already on probation for other crimes. 

Berry was also wanted out of Marion County. 

Richardson and Berry will be in court again on August 16th. 

Stay with Channel 3 for updates on this story. 


PREVIOUS STORY: An elderly man who was beaten and robbed is talking about what led up to the attack that happened more than a week ago. Chattanooga police said it happened inside the home of 72-year-old Lester "Jimmy" Cawood off East Mountain Lane.

The elderly man continues to recover at his son's home. Cawood said he's starting to feel better, but he's trying to understand why he was attacked in the first place.

On Monday, Cawood showed Channel 3 the bandages covering his head and arm.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Two suspects admit to "hanging out" with 72-year-old beating victim prior to attack

"My arm is broken right along here. My nose is broken. I've got 30 something stitches clamps in the head and I've got a cut place right here," Cawood said.

Cawood said he knew 26-year-old Jacob Berry and 20-year-old Tyler Dylan Richardson who are now facing especially aggravated robbery charges. Chattanooga police said Cawood was beaten over the head with a stainless steel pot, which is a moment he remembers vividly.

"Kept beating me in the head. I want your money. I want your money. He hit me probably 6 to 8 times there when I was sitting," Cawood said.

Before the violent attack, Cawood told Channel 3 Berry and Richardson came over to hang out since one of their aunts had to pick up their uncle at the hospital. Cawood said they were watching TV and at one point, Berry went outside to make a phone call and Richardson went into the kitchen.

Shortly after, that's when Cawood said he was severely beaten and his car and wallet were taken.

He believes Richardson, the man he said beat him with the pot, could have killed him.

"If he would have hit me a couple more times, I believe I wouldn't be here now if he hit me 2 or 3 more times," Cawood said.

He's trying to understand why this happened since he's known both of their families for years. Cawood is willing to forgive, but he thinks they should face the consequences for their actions.

"I was raised up to forgive people. I believe I can forgive them, but they still need to be punished," Cawood said.

Cawood said no one from either family has apologized to him so far.

The suspects are still behind bars on a $75,000 bond. Both are expected to be in court on Tuesday.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.

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