Man Arrested in Dragging Death of 76-Year-Old Woman

Suspect accused of running over 76-year-old after stealing her purse

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    A 28-year-old man has been charged in the death of a woman who was dragged and then ran over last week during a purse-snatching.

    Sabra Leavy, 76, was dragged and run over in a North Dallas Walmart parking lot on Wednesday when her purse was stolen. She died of her injuries Saturday.

    Man Charged in Walmart Dragging

    [DFW] Man Charged in Walmart Dragging
    Prosecutors call Rogelio Belmonte a career criminal, he's been in and out of jail for the past 10 years, now he's charged with capital murder in the dragging death of Sabra Leavy. (Published Monday, March 14, 2011)

    Rogelio Belmonte was arrested Saturday and is charged with capital murder.

    He has been convicted of more than a dozen crimes in Denton County in the past 10 years, including theft, burglary, assault, evading arrest, possession of drugs and reckless driving.

    Warning: Disturbing Imagery: Video Shows Pickup Run Over Woman

    [DFW] Warning: Disturbing Imagery: Video Shows Pickup Run Over Woman
    Police on Friday released surveillance video of a 76-year-old woman being run over during a drive-by purse-snatching. (Published Friday, March 11, 2011)

    Denton County prosecutor Michael Moore described Belmonte as a habitual criminal. He said that because Belmonte did not have a history of violence, the jail sentences for his misdemeanor crimes have been short.

    "I think a lot of times the system wants to provide the benefit of the doubt to a young person that doesn't have a history of violence and try to see if he can be rehabilitated," Dallas attorney Clint David said.

    Man Runs Over 76-Year-Old After Stealing Her Purse

    [DFW] Man Runs Over 76-Year-Old After Stealing Her Purse
    Dallas police say a driver ran over a 76-year-old woman after stealing her purse. (Published Friday, March 11, 2011)

    David said he believes the purse-snatching was a robbery gone wrong and that Belmonte did not intend to kill Leavy.

    "It's not as if this individual entered a store with a deadly weapon," he said. "As tragic as it is, it may be just a product of passion of the moment and attempting to flee. But he had to know he was dragging this woman, and he obviously felt -- you have to assume -- that his getting away is much more important to him than this lady' life."

    If convicted of capital murder, Belmonte would face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.

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