Acquaintance charged with beating death of East Memphis woman - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Acquaintance charged with beating death of East Memphis woman

By Jason Miles - bio | email | Facebook

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis Police have arrested and charged Gary Lilley with the murder of a Memphis woman inside her home.

Lilley was charged with first degree murder for beating Leigh da Ponte to death with a hammer.

Investigators said Lilley and da Ponte knew each other.  She was found severely beaten inside her home on North Yates on Sunday night.

Police said Lilley went to the victim's home to hang a plaque he gave her as a Christmas gift.

Once inside, Lilley became violent and hit da Ponte several times in the head with a hammer.  According to court records, she was found with, "massive and fatal injuries to her head and face."

Kristen Thorton, a neighbor of da Ponte, was shocked by the attack.

"You know, this is a really quiet neighborhood with a lot of community support, so we were really sad to know something had happened to harm somebody," Thornton said.

Leah Hawkins, who lives next door to Gary Lilley's brother, said the murder suspect was always nice to her.

"He was a nice man, but he wasn't as mature mentally as he should have been," she said.

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly