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105-Year-Old Woman Testifies in Burglary Trial

July 6, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ A 105-year-old woman told a jury that she wielded an aluminum cane in confronting two teens accused of systematically extorting hundreds of dollars from her grandson.

″I had my stick. I said, ’Come on, I got it right now,‴ Estelle Dunham testified Friday in state Supreme Court, a trial court.

Mrs. Dunham testified in the trial of Walter Danzler and Timothy Blanding, both 17, who are charged with larceny and burglary.

Prosecutors say the two forced high school classmate Brandon Felder to hand over cash payments ranging from $10 to $300. The thefts allegedly occurred between April and August 1984.

Mrs. Dunham testified that Danzler and Blanding barged into her home Sept. 18 to extort money from her grandson. Felder had testified the pair threatened ″to beat me up″ if he didn’t turn over the cash and said he was forced to steal from his mother to make the payments.

Felder said the two walked into his home, showed him a gun and demanded $40. At this point he told his mother, 68-year-old Emma Felder, about the payments and called the police, Felder said.

Mrs. Dunham, who said she managed to scare off one of the intruders with her cane, shouted immediately after taking the witness stand on Friday: ″I see them 3/8 I see them 3/8″

The elderly woman had some trouble testifying - she was hard of hearing and appeared confused during some questioning - but she was certain of one thing. ″They wanted money,″ she testified.

Attorneys for the two defendants called the charges ″a complete fabrication.″ A burglary conviction, the most serious charge against the teens, carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.

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