Florida caretaker guilty of attempted murder of WWII veteran after oxygen tank beating

A former caretaker was found guilty Friday of nearly killing a 92-year-old World War II veteran in Florida by beating him with his oxygen tank.

Elena Erickson, 47, was found guilty of attempted second degree murder and aggravated abuse of the elderly. She's set to be sentenced in October.

“It’s ironic that the instrument that was supposed to sustain his life was then used as a weapon to almost take his life," Assistant State Attorney Kennedy Legler said in a statement. "The victim and State Attorney’s Office are very pleased with the jury’s verdict.”

North Port police said Erickson hit Michael Tristano in the head multiple times with the tank in the May 2016 attack, before leaving him on the floor. They say she returned to the home the next day, found him still alive and called paramedics.

Tristano subsequently told officers Erickson showed up one night, at her usual time, to check on him. He said she began to argue with him about her payment, and demanded a blank check, FOX13 News reported at the time.

Tristano said when he refused, she began repeatedly hitting him in the head with his oxygen tank.

Tristano said he was bleeding and begged for help, but was only given a paper towel, telling authorities she pinned him to the floor with a chair and left.

"This was a very complex case which required a thorough investigation, both in the financial and physical crime aspect," North Port Police said in a Facebook post. "Our investigators and crime scene techs did an amazing job of making sure justice was served."

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Tristano was a gunner on a bomber during the war and testified at the trial, the Bradenton Herald reported.

"We also thank the victim in this case for his fighting spirit throughout and his service to our country," police said. "He fought for us and we are proud to have fought for him."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.