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Kristina Pongracz (PICTURES): Younger girlfriend could face murder charge in 77-year-old's death

Kristina Pongracz, 29, and William Herchenrider, 77. Prosecutors said the elderly man died from his injuries after Pongracz savagely beat him with his own cane last year. Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/02/17/2011-02-17_29yearold_charged_with_murdering_77yearold_boyfriend_cops_say_she_beat_him_with_.html#ixzz1EKRUV9Nr

Kristina Pongracz Pictures
Kristina Pongracz, 29, and William Herchenrider, 77
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(CBS/WDBJ) BEDFORD, Va. - Prosecutors are seeking a murder charge against 29-year-old Virginia woman Kristina Pongracz, who is accused of fatally injuring her 77-year-old boyfriend William Herchenrider last year.

PICTURES: Kristina Pongracz

Pongracz is currently facing a charge of aggravated malicious wounding for the death of William Herchenrider.

Autopsy results now indicate that Herchenrider's death was a homicide, Bedford Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Stephanie Ayers told CBS affiliate WDBJ.

Herchenrider was found with serious injuries last May at his mansion in rural southern Virginia. Police say Pongracz, who was 28 at the time, beat Herchenrider with his own cane after he tried to break off their relationship and throw her out of his home in Goode, about 35 miles east of Roanoke.

Herchenrider died in August after being hospitalized for several months.

Ayers says Herchenrider's death was the result of "complications from injuries he received in the assault."

Ayers says her office plans to seek a murder indictment against Pongracz during a March meeting of the Bedford Grand Jury.

During a hearing Tuesday morning, Pongracz's attorney Webster Hogeland indicated that he will seek an expert who can analyze Herchenrider's medical records, hoping to disprove the idea that Pongracz caused her boyfriend's death.

The attorney is asking the court to pay for the cost of the expert's services, citing that his client can not afford to pay for the expert's work herself.

Judge Jim Updike will consider the attorney's request at Pongracz's next court hearing, which is scheduled for March 14.

  • Edecio Martinez

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