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Son charged in attack on ill, bedridden father

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published May 19, 2006


HUDSON - A 25-year-old man is accused of attacking his cancer-stricken 57-year-old father as he lay in bed Wednesday.

The younger man chased his father outside, pushed him down and attacked him again before stopping, apologizing and helping his father back into the house, said a Pasco Sheriff's Office report, .

Derek Wallen was charged with domestic battery and was held in the county jail Thursday in lieu of $1,000 bail. Afterward, he told sheriff's deputies he didn't remember what happened.

According to the sheriff's report, victim Darrell Wallen's illness has left him confined to bed upstairs. He was watching TV at 8:58 a.m., the report said, when Derek Wallen entered the room and suddenly began punching him in the face.

The mother, Deborah Wallen, told deputies she put herself between the two and tried to pull her son away. She couldn't find her cell phone, so she told her husband to get out of the house. He kicked his son, then made it outside, according to the Sheriff's Office. The victim suffered cuts and had two swollen eyes but refused medical treatment.

Potential witness in drug slaying arrested

PORT RICHEY - Sherry Harris, a potential witness in the slaying of John Jason Benjamin over a drug debt, was arrested Wednesday on drug charges and for violating probation, authorities say.

Harris, 34, is charged with possession of cocaine, possession of a controlled substance and two counts of violation of probation.

She was held without bail Thursday.

She is also known as Sherry Walton and is the stepdaughter of Port Richey police Chief Bill Sager. She violated her probation on charges of possession of cocaine and uttering a forged instrument by testing positive for cocaine, failing to get a job and failing to be truthful with her probation officer, according to court documents.

Two men have been charged in the slaying of Benjamin, a troubled 37-year-old father of two who had a drug habit.

Authorities say he was beaten, his throat slashed, then his body left inside Harris' 2004 Isuzu Trooper, which was set on fire. Harris was Benjamin's dealer, according to sheriff's reports, and is a potential witness in the case.

[Last modified May 19, 2006, 03:00:21]


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