Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Highland Park, MI: Ax attack by grandmother kills mom of 2 in Highland Park

'Help me,' dying mom cried

A 26-year-old mother of two was found dead Monday after being attacked multiple times with an ax inside the Highland Park home of her children's grandmother, police and relatives said.

Myla Perry and her boyfriend left his mother's home on Candler near Oakland shortly before noon when Perry realized she left her purse inside, relatives said.

When she returned to get the purse, police said her boyfriend's mother attacked her with an ax and took the couple's 3-year-old son hostage. A standoff lasted nearly four hours.

Negotiators secured the release of the boy about 4 p.m. He was taken to a nearby ambulance, but had no injuries.

An unidentified woman believed to be the child's grandmother was led from the house in handcuffs a short time later and placed in a squad car.

The couple also has a 5-year-old daughter, who was not at the home at the time.

Witnesses describe scene
Ernest Jones, Sabrina Murphy and another man slowly eased into the blue, two-story house on Candler Street in Highland Park.

The three couldn't believe what they heard moments earlier: That the woman who lived there had attacked her son's girlfriend with an ax. So the trio went in to see for themselves.

What they found Monday afternoon was a bloody trail leading from the foyer through the living room, where a table was knocked over, and into the kitchen where puddles of blood were on the floor.

As they approach the top of the basement stairs, Jones called out, "Hello?"

A woman's voice yelled back: "Don't y'all come down here or I'm going to cut her head off."

Jones said as he looked down the basement stairs, he saw an older woman holding a long-handled ax over her shoulder, cocked as if she is ready to swing at any moment. At her feet at the bottom of the stairs, Perry lay bleeding from several wounds.

Murphy said the younger woman weakly cried out: "Help me. Help me." Jones said he tried to persuade the older woman to put down the ax.

"Call the police, call the police. I'm going to kill this bitch," the older woman responded.

As he continued his pleas, Jones said Perry moved a bit and the older woman suddenly began to bring down the ax. "I said, 'Wait! Wait! Wait!" Jones said. "She was just saying, 'Call the police.' "

All three ran out of the house.

Highland Park police arrived minutes later and a nearly four-hour standoff began while the grandmother holed up in the home with Perry and Perry's 3-year-old son -- her grandson -- as hostages.

"One of the neighbors told me Myla was hit in the face and leg with the ax and there was blood all over the house," said Charmiria Ashford, Perry's cousin. "The police chaplain came out and told us her son was fine, but never said anything about Myla."

Ashford said Perry had a fight with the grandmother on Saturday. "Myla felt bad about it," Ashford said.

Jones and Murphy, who live across the street from the crime scene, said that they heard the grandmother threaten to kill Perry during the public altercation outside the home. Murphy said the grandmother told Perry: " 'Bitch, I'm going to kill you. Just watch and see.' "

Perry's boyfriend, Ashford said, tried to go back into the house and reason with his mother, but police ushered him away. Family members waited for hours down the street from the house and had a group prayer with a Highland Park police chaplain.

Contact MELANIE D. SCOTT: 313-222-6159. Contact CECIL ANGEL: 313-223-4531.

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