Handyman to stand trial in brutal slaying of elderly woman in East Mt. Airy home

     Leroy Wilson will stand trail on charges of killing an elderly woman in her East Mt. Airy home. (Courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

    Leroy Wilson will stand trail on charges of killing an elderly woman in her East Mt. Airy home. (Courtesy of Philadelphia Police)

    The handyman who allegedly robbed and killed an elderly woman inside her East Mt. Airy home last month was held for trial Wednesday on all charges.

    On June 29, police found Regina Brunner-Holmes “stained” with blood in the bedroom of her rancher on the 300 block of East Roumfort Road. A day or two before, the 85-year-old had been strangled, stabbed multiple times and beaten in the head, according medical reports. Her throat had also been slashed.

    Leroy Wilson, known around the neighborhood as “Leroy the Handyman,” was arrested at his Norristown home a few days after Brunner-Holmes’ body was discovered. He had worked for Brunner-Holmes and others in the area.

    During Wednesday’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors called one witness and presented video clips from Wilson’s nearly five-hour interrogation with homicide detectives before Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons made her ruling.

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    Micshell Hoskins, a former girlfriend, said Wilson showed up at her North Philadelphia home sometime after 3 a.m. on June 28 with a credit card, laptop and a chilling message: “I caught a body.”

    Hoskins told Assistant District Attorney Richard Sax she understood that to mean Wilson had killed someone.

    Hoskins was later arrested on theft-related charges after she allegedly used Brunner-Holmes’ credit card and computer to purchase $1,600 worth of goods from Toys R Us.

    Hoskins is being held on $100,000 bail. A request to reduce that total is now expected. 

    In one clip from his interview with police, Wilson said he wanted to “take full responsibility for the part” he played in Brunner-Holmes’ death.

    In another, he said, “I feel apologetic about the whole thing.”

    Earl Kauffman, Wilson’s lawyer, argued that his client never flatly admitted to police that he attacked or killed Brunner-Holmes and had, in fact, denied doing either of those things when asked by detectives.

    Instead, Wilson told detectives that one of two unidentified men who are allegedly connected to the incident – simply named as “K” and “W” — must have killed the woman.

    Prosecutors disagree and want Wilson to be charged with first-degree murder.

    “We don’t have any indication that anyone other than Mr. Wilson was in that house,” said Sax after the hearing. He said Wilson wanted money so he could get a place with his girlfriend.

    Family declined to comment after the hearing.

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