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Former rental store employee sentenced in attack, theft at former customer’s KC home

Updated: 2013-06-14T22:17:32Z

By GLENN E. RICE

The Kansas City Star

A former rental store employee was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison for severely beating an elderly customer, stealing his leased television and later pawning it for $100.

Eric L. Patton, 28, of Kansas City had pleaded guilty April 9 to first-degree assault and second-degree robbery for the Aug. 25 attack. The 88-year-old victim, a World War II veteran and a great-grandfather, suffered a head injury and abrasions.

During the sentencing, relatives described the victim as a caring and thoughtful man who raised numerous children, including several grandchildren. Since the attack, he has lived in a retirement facility and his health has declined steadily.

Patton sobbed as he asked the victim’s family to forgive him.

“I am truly sorry and there is not a day that goes by that I don’t ask God to put forgiveness in your heart,” Patton said. “I pray that you will forgive me. I’ve made some very bad choices that I am going to have to deal with.”

According to authorities, police found the victim three days after the attack when they were called to his home in the 600 block of West 44th Street. Family members told police that the victim’s wallet and checkbook were missing, as well as the television he had leased from a Rent-A-Center store at 3807 Main St. After the store provided the TV’s serial number, detectives learned Patton had pawned it the day of the attack.

Patton worked at the Rent-A-Center store until Aug. 3, according to authorities. He had delivered a refrigerator to the victim’s home on June 28 and serviced his television July 11. Patton, who had no previous criminal record, lied to investigators about what happened when arrested days after the attack.

Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor Dawn Parsons said Patton struck the victim seven times in the back of the head and that his actions were “deliberated and calculated.”

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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