The Washington Times-Herald

Local News

June 11, 2014

Archer makes guilty plea in grandmother beating

A Washington man pleaded guilty in the drug-induced beating of his grandmother in Daviess Superior Court on Wednesday.

Christopher Charles Archer, 34, can serve up to 20 years in prison after Judge Dean Sobecki accepts a plea agreement in the case. Archer pleaded guilty to aggravated battery, a Class B felony. Other charges, including theft and battery with a deadly weapon, would be dropped.

On Sept. 1, 2013, Archer was living in the home of her grandmother, Oneda Cornelius, 80, 915 N.E. Fourth St. According to court records, a neighbor found Cornelius in front of the home severely beaten. Cornelius was unable to speak after recently having a stroke, acknowledged to officers she had been beaten.

Cornelius suffered multiple fractures to her face and head. During a search of the house, officers found large amounts of blood and believe a broken stepping stone was used in the beating. Cornelius was taken to St. Mary's Hospital in Evansville for a lengthy treatment.

After the beating, Archer took his grandmother's 2004 Buick Regal. Cindy Meade, Archer's mother, said there were problems with him taking items and was not allowed to take Cornelius' car. Her purse and cellphone were also in the vehicle.

Archer was taken to Daviess Community Hospital for injuries sustained in a fight unrelated to the case. After the hospital, he remained at the Daviess County Security Center on $1 million bond.

During examination by defense attorney Shelly K. McBride, Archer said he did beat Cornelius with the decorative rock and then stole her vehicle, but had no recollection of the events. He said he had used so much methamphetamine, he did not know what happened until he was later arrested.

Sentencing for Archer was preliminarily set for Aug. 5.

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