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Murder charge in beating of Texas woman, 83

IRVING, Texas -- Police are holding a 20-year-old man on a preliminary murder charge in the beating death of an 83-year-old North Texas woman.

Irving police say Jesse Perkins is suspected of having killed Dessie Hancock, who was beaten outside a neighbor's home Friday. She died Sunday.

Perkins and his brothers - 19-year-old Edward Perkins and 18-year-old Thomas Perkins - initially faced aggravated assault charges, but police said Monday that those holding charges were dropped. Police say Edward Perkins no longer faces any charges. Thomas Perkins is being held on preliminary charges of interference with public duties, hindering apprehension and tampering with physical evidence.

Neither Jesse nor Thomas Perkins has been formally charged, and jail records don't list attorneys for either of them.

Police called to a southeast Irving residence found Hancock unconscious on the ground and transported her to a local hospital.

Police say she died around 9 p.m. Sunday.

Authorities say Jesse Perkins attacked Hancock at random, pushed her from her walker, then kicked and stomped her head, reports CBS Dallas.

"Nobody can understand it," husband John Hancock told the station. He sat by her bed for two days before life support was removed.

"That's the hardest and most unreal thing that's ever happened," Hancock said.

The couple had been married for more than 60 years. They raised two sons and an adopted daughter, and fostered a disabled son since he was 3 months old.

According to John Hancock, his wife was walking to a friend's house Friday to invite her to an early dinner at Denny's when she was attacked for no reason, adding that the Perkins brothers had been at that house. Hancock was assaulted, without warning, in the driveway.

"She was 83 years old," said Hancock. "Walking on her walker. Didn't even know the boys."