Man charged in elderly woman's murder in East Flatbush, Brooklyn

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022
Man charged in elderly woman's murder in Brooklyn
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A man was charged with the death of a 77-year-old woman discovered in her home in Brooklyn. Josh Einiger has the disturbing details.

EAST FLATBUSH, Brooklyn (WABC) -- A man was charged with the death of a 77-year-old woman discovered in her home in Brooklyn.

Police officers responding to a 911 call found Elenora Bernard around 9:23 p.m. Saturday inside her apartment on East 45 Street in the East Flatbush section with bruising and swelling about the body.

She was taken to New York Downstate Medical Center where she was pronounced dead.

Bernard was the former C.E.O. of Petra B Corporation and the mother of former Brooklyn Borough President candidate Khari Edwards.

Andre Hooper, apparently her neighbor, was arrested and charged with murder and murder with depraved indifference.

"What he did is unforgivable," Edwards said. "What he did is took my mom, took a grandmother."

Edwards is reeling over his loss. His 77-year-old mother was living with dementia.

Police say Bernard died at the hands of Hooper, a man they say she was trying to help.

Over the weekend, police say 51-year-old Hooper, who Bernard had taken in, was offered work to assist with odds and ends. Instead, Hooper allegedly beat the life out of her.

It took only a day for the medical examiner to rule the death a homicide and detectives to bust Hooper.

Edwards says it was his mom's involvement in community organizing that got him into public service.

But all the politics in the world couldn't prepare him for the news he got this weekend.

"Guys in the neighborhood she'd hire them to give them money to feed their families and she's always just giving, giving, giving," Edwards said.

The question is, why would Hooper murder Bernard?

"It wasn't a robbery; it wasn't like somebody she's unfamiliar with," Edwards said. "It was just literally somebody losing their mind and doing something to somebody who couldn't defend themselves."

Before Monday, Hooper had been arrested 17 times since the 1990s, but never for anything remotely as violent as this.

He's now charged in the murder of a frail woman whose only crime, family members say, was to give him a helping hand.

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