QUINCY (CBS/AP) – Prosecutors say two people accused of violently attacking a 92-year-old woman committed the crime to buy heroin.

Kayla Noel-Brown, 26, of Quincy and Markell Cruz, 27, of Somerville entered not guilty pleas during their arraignments Monday in Quincy District Court. They are accused of knocking down and robbing Doris Prendiville as she was walking to get a newspaper on Nov. 19. The attack sent Prendiville to the hospital with a fractured sternum.

quincy pair Prosecutors Say Pair Robbed Elderly Woman To Buy Heroin

Markell Cruz, left, and Kayla Noel-Brown appear in Quincy District Court. (WBZ-TV)

The victim’s daughter, Chris Prendiville, told WBZ-TV that her mother is relieved that her attackers were arrested.

“It makes her feel much better and much safer. And she was more concerned at this point, because she knew she was safe where she was, but she was so worried about all her friends, like, ‘If they’re still out there, they could do this to one of my friends,'” Chris Prendiville said.

Cruz was held without bail. Noel-Brown was held on $2,500 cash bail. They are each charged with unarmed robbery of an elderly person, assault and battery on an elderly person, and conspiracy.

Noel-Brown’s grandfather said little out of court, other than to say that they hope she gets treatment.

markell cruz kayla noel brown Prosecutors Say Pair Robbed Elderly Woman To Buy Heroin

Markell Cruz, left, and Kayla Noel-Brown (Photo credit: Quincy Police Department)

Prendiville was returning from her normal Sunday morning walk to buy the newspaper at a nearby CVS when she was knocked over by a man who grabbed her purse, which was later found next to a nearby dumpster with $30 stolen.

As police began to gather surveillance video from the area, they quickly noticed a mystery woman, later identified as Noel-Brown, helping and hugging the elderly victim in the lobby of the apartment building.

Their arrests came Saturday, after a State Police Trooper noticed the pair walking along Massachusetts Avenue in Boston.

Trooper Joseph Gray, a member of the Massachusetts State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section, saw a man and a woman walking toward the intersection with Northampton Street. Gray noticed that Noel-Brown resembled a photograph of a female suspect being sought by Quincy Police in the attack on Prendiville, authorities said.

Gray reversed his direction to get a closer look at Noel-Brown, and then he exited his cruiser and approached the pair.

The woman identified herself as “Nancy Brown” of Quincy, according to State Police. Gray contacted Quincy Police and then asked for a photo of the assault suspect. The photos matched, and Gray arrested the pair after police determined that both were involved in the Nov. 19 assault.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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