Handyman accused of slashing Mt. Airy woman’s throat held without bail

 (Courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

(Courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

A handyman accused of slashing an elderly woman’s throat inside her Philadelphia home last week was denied bail early Sunday morning.

Leroy Wilson, 37, is charged in the violent murder of 85-year-old Regina Brunner inside her East Mt. Airy home. Wilson was arrested Saturday morning when Philadelphia detectives, U.S. Marshals and Norristown police served a warrant at his girlfriend’s home on Brown Street in Norristown, Montgomery County.

Wilson faced a preliminary arraignment about 1:30 a.m. and was denied bail, according to court records. He is scheduled to appear for a preliminary hearing July 22 at 9 a.m.

Investigators said Wilson was a local handyman who did work for Brunner as well as several other residents in the area.

Police believe Wilson visited Brunner’s home on Roumfort Road near Ardleigh Street the night of Sunday, June 28. They suspect he began to steal several items once inside the house but was caught in the act by Brunner. That’s when police believe Wilson attacked her, beat her and slashed her throat. He then allegedly stole her credit cards, debit card, laptop and Toyota Corolla before fleeing.

On Monday morning, Brunner’s son found her body in her bedroom. Police found her stolen car on Stillman Street near Clearfield in North Philadelphia the next day. They also recovered her laptop and discovered purchases made with her credit cards and debit card.

Investigators said they traced DNA evidence from the stolen vehicle and laptop back to Wilson. They also say they recovered surveillance photos of Wilson using Brunner’s debit card at an ATM.

Investigators said the suspect was known as “Leroy the Handyman” by several Philadelphia residents.

They added that he has more than 20 prior arrests in Florida and Philadelphia.

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