Son Beats Mom With Sledgehammer: Police

State police say a central Pennsylvania man claimed his mother was badly beaten by a burglar, but that her texts and phone calls to relatives -- and blood found on her son's clothes -- show he beat her with a sledgehammer while looking for prescription pills shortly after being released from a drug rehab center.

The Altoona Mirror reports 30-year-old Matthew James Baldessaro, of Tyrone -- that's about 90 miles east of Pittsburgh -- allegedly beat his mother just before noon Tuesday, not shortly before midnight as was originally reported by several media outlets.

Online court records don't list an attorney for Baldessaro who faces a preliminary hearing Jan. 14 on attempted homicide and other charges.

Police say his 55-year-old mother was hospitalized with a fractured skull, broken jaw, and broken orbital bone. She was transferred to an unspecified hospital in Pittsburgh after first being rushed to UPMC Altoona hospital.

Baldessaro remained in the Blair County Prison on Thursday, unable to post $500,000 bail.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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