Suspects charged with attack, rape and robbery of New Albany couple


Posted on December 6, 2012 at 1:13 PM

Updated Friday, Dec 7 at 9:14 AM

NEW ALBANY, Ind. (WHAS11) -- Police said what started out as a friendly night of drinking at a home in New Albany quickly turned into a night of terror, as two men, Anthony Bell, 23, and Robert Brooks, 30, attacked the man and woman who lived there.

"They confined them overnight inside their home. There was apparently an ongoing assault all night," Maj. Keith Whitlow New Albany Police said.

According to a police report, the suspects poured cooking oil on the couple and tried to set them both on fire after hours of abuse. Ashes in the back yard mark where a charred mattress and blanket were recovered by police detectives.

The suspects allegedly hit the 67-year-old man repeatedly over the head with a cooking pot and stepped on his head.

Both men allegedly beat and sexually assaulted the 51-year-old woman repeatedly, and cut the phone lines at the home. The woman was finally able to run away and call 911 from a neighbor's home.

"What a shame that it had to happen to somebody," Diane McLean, who lives across the street from the victims, said. "They just took advantage of him, and apparently, from what we're hearing, thought there was money."

"The motive initially was robbery and apparently it escalated," Maj. Whitlow said.

Both victims are disabled, but neither had received their monthly assistance checks, which investigators said they believe is the reason the suspects targeted the couple.

The police report also states the female victim knew Bell's wife, who lives a few blocks away. Bell was arrested there Saturday morning after being identified by the victims.

Brooks was captured Wednesday night at the Beecher Terrace public housing complex in Louisville after a four-day manhunt. He has a long prior criminal history, including an attempted murder arrest in 2001 after Brooks, then 19, fired shots at undercover Louisville Police officers.

As of Thursday night the male victim is still hospitalized for serious head injuries. The female victim is no longer staying in the home where the couple was attacked.