A carnival worker from Mississippi accused of beating a woman in Elkhorn with a hammer was charged Monday with attempted murder and sexual assault.
Terrence D. Leflore, 24, of Jackson, Mississippi, tried to kill the 21-year-old woman he also is accused of sexually assaulting, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Walworth County Court.
Leflore was arrested Sept. 3 at the Walworth County Fairgrounds.
Police were called to a public parking lot in the first block of South Lincoln Street, Elkhorn, at 10:11 p.m. Aug. 28. The 21-year-old woman was found partially clothed and unconscious in her car near her work when authorities arrived.
Leflore first denied attacking the woman, according to the complaint, but later admitted to the assault, saying he initially had planned to rob the woman. Leflore told investigators he followed the woman to her car and hit her with a hammer to get her to drop her purse, according to the complaint.
Leflore said he sexually assaulted the woman with the hammer in her car, but he said he did not plan on killing her, according to the complaint.
Authorities later found a hammer near the parking lot. A manager for the midway carnival rides said the hammer was similar to the ones used by carnival workers, according to the complaint.
Authorities said the woman was found “badly injured” with lacerations above her eye and lip. She was transported to a hospital, where medical staff said her skull was severely fractured and her brain was swelling.
Walworth County District Attorney Zeke Wiedenfeld said earlier authorities were unsure if the victim would survive. She regained consciousness Aug. 31 but was unable to speak until Sept. 3.
A shirt from the woman’s car was found in Leflore’s possession, and authorities found internet searches on his phone for “fingerprints and blood” and “how can you tell if someone raped someone else,” according to the complaint.
A Walworth County judge on Sept. 5 set Leflore’s bond at $1 million.
Leflore made his initial court appearance Monday in Walworth County Court, but his appearance was continued because his attorney had not had time to review the criminal complaint.
He will appear in court again at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday.
Along with attempted first-degree intentional homicide, Leflore is charged with two counts of first-degree sexual assault, armed robbery, aggravated battery, first-degree reckless injury and obstructing an officer.
Leflore was employed by North American Midway Entertainment, the company that supplied the midway entertainment at the Walworth County Fair. According to a spokeswoman for the company, Leflore passed a background check before being hired.