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An argument between a brother and sister about cleaning the backyard of their Youngtown home escalated to attempted murder, authorities said.

Charles Bonney, 73, is accused of hitting his sister with the shovel he was using to scoop dog poop on Monday before striking her multiple times with a brick, according to court documents.

Maricopa County sheriff’s deputies said Bonney tried to drag his sister into a secluded spot so no one would see the assault, but it was too late. A public-works employee on a recycling pickup route told deputies he witnessed part of the attack.

The employee jumped the backyard fence as Bonney continued to strike his sister in the head with a brick, and the employee grabbed him to stop the assault, court records show.

The bloodied woman told the “recycling man” that Bonney was trying to kill her, records show. The man stayed there until deputies arrived, and Bonney, meanwhile, washed his hands with a water hose, records show.

Bonney’s sister was transported to the hospital with head trauma, including an intracranial hemorrhage, hematoma, lacerations and a concussion.

“I can’t believe it, but he tried to kill me with that shovel,” deputies quoted the woman as saying in court records.

Deputies interviewed her at the hospital. She told investigators that she told her brother to move some of his things from the backyard earlier in the day, and when she went outside to check on him, he hit her in the head with a shovel.

She told deputies she remembered being hit six or seven times with the shovel, but didn’t recall being hit with a brick, according to court documents. She remembered hearing the sound of the recycling truck and yelling for help. 

Court documents show Bonney admitted to having an argument with his sister earlier in the day. When she walked outside, Bonney said, she accidentally fell and hit her head.

Deputies said they observed blood on Bonney’s shirt during the interview. In the backyard, they found drag marks, blood on the handle of a shovel and two pieces of broken brick with hair and blood on them.

Bonney was being held Wednesday in a Maricopa County jail on suspicion of attempted murder and aggravated assault. A judge set his bond at $250,000.

His next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 15 in Maricopa County Superior Court.


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