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UPDATE: Couple continues to recover after hammer attack

Monday, April 9, 2012 - 2:38pm

Tatum, TX — As of Monday morning, Betty Barker is listed in good condition at Good Shepherd Medical Center in Longview. Barker spent three days in serious condition before her condition was upgraded.
Donald Wagstaff was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon.
Their alleged attacker, Michael Ferris, 20, remains in the Panola County Detention Center under bonds totalling $4 million. He is charged with two counts each of attempted murder and injury to an elderly person.

The victims in this beating, Betty Barker and Donald Wagstaff, are both listed in stable condition at a Longview hospital.
Barker was the most severely injured of the two. She was struck repeatedly from behind and was left with many bruises and lacerations.

Panola County officials have identified yesterday's hammer assailant as Michael Ferris, 20 of White Oak.
Ferris faces two counts of attempted murder and two counts of injury to an elderly person.
He has been booked into the Panola County Jail and his bond is set at $4 million.

According to the Tatum Police Department, two people have been detained in connection to the assault.
Police say they are still trying to piece together what exactly happened.
So far no names have been released

According to the Tatum Police Department, they have arrested at least one person responsible for the brutal hammer attacks of an elderly Tatum couple.

Panola County authorities are searching for a man who allegedly beat an elderly couple with a hammer.
It happened shortly before 4 p.m. in the 600 block of East Johnson Street.
According to the Tatum Police Department, a man knocked on their door and asked to use the  phone. Once inside, he attacked the wife with a hammer. The assailant then went to a nearby barn and began beating the husband.
Both of the victims were taken to a hospital in Longview. The wife's injuries were so severe, she was flown to the hospital. Their current conditions are unknown.
Tatum Police and Panola County are currently searching for the man responsible. He is described as a white male, in his late teen or early 20s, dark hair and a slender build.
According to the Longview News-Journal Tatum schools were on lockdown.
If you have any information on this case, please contact your local authorities.



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