Two men are in the Washington County jail, accused of beating a 72-year-old Bartlesville woman with a pipe, strangling her and injecting her with drain cleaner and lighter fluid. Now her son is speaking out about the crime.
Mark Brant says their Bartlesville vacuum cleaner store has been in his family for 30 years. That's why he'd didn't give a second thought to leaving his 72-year-old mother Catherine behind the counter by herself. "It was their purpose to come in and kill somebody that day and take whatever cash was available."
Brant says on May 19th at about 11 in the morning, two men came into the store and followed his mother to the back room. "That's when they took the rod and hit her in the back of the head and began to, as she went down they began to strangle her and as she went down, they were strangling her and then the other guy took the syringe, stuck it in her neck and they left her for dead."
Bartlesville Police say 20-year-old Richard Kasiah and 19-year-old William Rackliff [pictured] confessed to beating Catherine Brant with a 12 inch pipe and injecting her with drain cleaner and lighter fluid. Police say Kasiah has been convicted in other previous burglaries and told investigators then; he was making a list of other small businesses to rob. "Those are animals, just brute beasts that need to be culled from the herd, as it were, because we need to make sure they don't get a slap on the wrist and say, "they'll get better." There's no excuse for that."
Brant says his mother's attackers stole her wallet and the store's bank bag, altogether containing less than $200, much less, Brant says, than his mothers life is worth. "I don't understand that level of brutality. Much less for a couple hundred dollars."
Now, after stitches to repair her head and neck, Catherine Brant is recovering at home. The two men arrested for the crime are being held on a half-a-million dollars bond each. A trial is set for June 24.
Mark Brant says his mother won't be watching the store for him anymore and he's looking into getting surveillance cameras installed, in case something like this ever happens again.