SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — With relatives of his alleged victim in the courtroom and wearing green ribbons, a San Jose teenager who is accused of brutally beating an 88-year-old woman during a home invasion robbery made a court appearance Friday.
Zachary Cuen is facing charges of attempted murder with premeditated attempted murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary and elder abuse each with a special allegation of personally inflicting great bodily injury.
A hearing on his plea was continued to Nov. 3rd. and the 19-year-old will remain in custody without bail.
Family members of the victim — know as Miss Flo — filled a portion of the courtroom.
“No Matter how long it takes — Justice will prevail,” said Patricia James — Miss Flo’s niece. “At each court appearance the family will be here to represent my aunt.”
Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise has called the attack “an extremely heinous crime.”
Authorities said that on the night of Sept. 12, Cuen allegedly entered the elderly woman’s home where he demanded money from her and threatened to kill her if she didn’t follow his orders.
When the elderly woman said she had none, the suspect repeatedly punched and kicked her even after she was knocked down to the ground.
Cuen allegedly left the residence for a brief moment, prosecutors have contended, returned and continued to beat her.
The defendant then allegedly ransacked the residence, took the woman’s property and left in her car that had been parked in the garage.
Wise said that Cuen was identified as the suspect through a latent fingerprint left at the home.
The elderly woman was left with multiple bone fractures and internal hemorrhaging to her eyes and brain. She remains in intensive care with family members saying she’s conscious and talking very little.