A Mount Vernon man pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges in the death of a beloved 85-year-old grandmother whose body was found at the bottom of her basement stairs in February.
Lloyd Lewis, a neighbor of Emma Gruber, a longtime Mount Vernon resident and beloved fixture of the community, was remanded without bail after his arraignment Wednesday. In addition to murder, he was charged with multiple counts of burglary and petit larceny, among other offenses.
Investigators determined Gruber was killed by blunt force trauma. A piece of wood with her blood on it was found near her body, which was under a large pile of clothes and a piece of plywood.
A 32" flat screen TV was missing from her home and the basement was flooded because her water meter and copper pipes had been cut out and removed. Jewelry was also stolen.
Gruber was known for fostering children and giving out candy in her community.
Lewis faces up to life in prison without parole if he is convicted of the top charge against him.
Lewis' attorneys had asked the judge to delay his arraignment because they argued media in the courtroom could sway the jurors. The judge refused. They didn't comment on the case.