WANTED: Tampa man severely beat grandmother, 94, stole her Infiniti, say cops

James Mitchell Jr, Hillsborough County jail booking photo

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A Hillsborough County man is on the run Wednesday night after investigators say he beat his 94-year-old grandmother, left her to die and then stole her SUV.

An arrest warrant has been issued for James Mitchell Jr., 54, who lives with his grandmother, the victim, at 7410 52nd Ave. South in Tampa. The warrant is for aggravated battery on person 65 years or older and grand theft of a motor vehicle.

Investigators the suspect he beat his grandmother sometime between 7 p.m. on May 17 and 6:56 a.m. on May 18. She was left on the ground in a semi-conscious state for an unknown amount of time. She is now being treated for severe injuries at an area hospital.

News Channel 8 talked with the victim, Leona Alderman, and her daughter. They told us Alderman is in such bad shape she may not survive.

The daughter, Mary Jane Weigand, made the shocking discovery. “He tried to kill her,” Weigand said. “He tried to choke her, even. She’s got marks all over her neck. I was terrified. I was just very panicky.”

It’s especially tough for Weigand.  She’s not only the victim’s daughter, she’s also the accused attacker’s mother.

Weigand said her son has a problem. “Drugs,” she said. “This whole neighborhood is infested with them.”

“I want them to put him where he belongs … back to prison,” she added.

News Channel 8 talked with a neighbor who says he’s known the family for years. “The guy’s kind of strange,” Hank Walker said.

Walker told News Channel 8 he knew something like this would happen. However, he said he didn’t think it would be this bad.

“He’s a nut,” Walker said about the suspect. “You don’t beat on little women like that. He’s a nut.”

Mitchell is believed to be driving his grandmother’s 2001 beige, Infiniti QX4 sport utility vehicle with Florida tag X89 9TT.

He is 5’10” tall, weighs 165 lbs., has a medium build/complexion, brown hair, brown eyes. Investigators say he may have mustache.

If you know where the suspect is, call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200. You can also call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477) or go to http://www.crimestopperstb.com to remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward.

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