Son charged in killing of 96-year-old woman

96-year-old woman
Gary Johnston
Philadelphia police

A man was charged with murder Monday after allegedly beating his 96-year-old mother to death inside their Roxborough home.

Police were called just after 1 p.m. Sunday to the 4200 block of Houghton Street, where they found Bertha Johnson on the living room floor of her home, authorities said. She suffered blunt force trauma, and medical personnel declared her dead at the scene.

Her son, 59-year-old Gary Johnston, who also lived in the home, was arrested immediately and has since been charged with murder and possession of an instrument of a crime.

Authorities did not comment on a possible motive in the killing.

Johnston’s legal representation could not be identified Monday.

He is being held without bail, and a preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Aug. 1, according to court documents.

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