Aiken Co. man returns from hospital after brutal beating (GRAPHIC CONTENT)

News 12 at 11 o'clock / Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

NEW ELLENTON, S.C. -- Miles Malpass is back home, and he's lucky to be alive.

The 74-year-old has healed a lot over the last couple of weeks after a brutal beating that almost killed him.

"I was raised tough and that probably saved me," said Malpass outside his home in New Ellenton.

He says he got up from his wheelchair after a friend of his knocked on the door.

"But he started hitting me as soon as I opened the door. He knocked me on the couch, and I began to cover up with my left hand," he said.

But police say the suspect, Nick Marino, continued to beat Malpass for almost two hours. They say he was after the 74-year-old's prescription medication, which he finally found in Malpass' pocket. Then he beat Malpass even more.

"I'm sure he thought I was dead, because he finally just quit and left," he said.

"He was left for dead," says Cpl. Detroit Spires of the New Ellenton Police Department.

Spires saw the scene that day. He snapped pictures of Malpass. One shows him covered in blood with his eyes almost lifeless. The day after, he took another. It was Malpass' birthday, and the 74-year-old didn't look much better.

"Those pictures are horrible. There are several people at our department that's not able to look at them," Spires said.

Spires tracked down the two suspects in Jackson, Marino and Haley Mixon. He says they'd crashed their truck into their home. Officers say they were leisurely sipping beer outside when they pulled up to arrest them.

"I like to say slime. I don't think there's a good word for anyone like that," said Malpass, describing the suspects.

However, Malpass says he won't live in fear.

"I'm sorry that's not in my vocabulary. 'Run' and 'fear' are not words I know," he said.

The two suspects were each charged with attempted murder, kidnapping and strong armed robbery. Spires says Marino was the one doing the beating, while Mixon waited outside. He says the Jackson man could be sentenced anywhere from 25 years to life.

Ultimately, Malpass says the only thing that got him through the incident is the fact that he knew justice would come. He'd just have to cling on to life a little longer. He says that justice will come in court. He and Cpl. Spires just hope the solicitor will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

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