The Santa Clara County District Attorney on Thursday charged a 19-year-old man with murder as prosecutors allege he killed a beloved 88-year-old San Jose woman during a brutal home invasion.
Zachary Cuen, a 19-year-old parolee, has appeared in court before to face attempted murder and home invasion charges. But Flo Douglas, dubbed by her neighbors and friends as Miss Flo, died on Oct. 8, changing the nature of the case. And so, on Thursday, the original case was amended to include murder.
If convicted of all counts, he faces life in prison.
“Our deepest condolences go out to Ms. Douglas’s family and to so many in the community who loved and respected her,” Deputy DA Lance Daugherty said in a statement. “We will do everything within our power to hold this defendat accountable for this savage and senseless crime."
'Our Hearts Are Broken': San Jose Woman, 88, Dies After Being Viciously Beaten During Home Invasion Robbery
Sources close to the investigation say sheriff's deputies have a video of Cuen using Douglas' credit card and driving her car.
Prosecutors say the 19-year-old parolee was trying to kill Douglas during a the robbery at her home in the Alum Rock neighborhood.
The attack happened in the home where Douglas lived alone. Investigators said Cuen initially left then returned to beat the victim again, ransacking her house and stealing her car. Detectives said they also found one of Cuen’s fingerprints at the home.
Cuen, who lived across the street from Douglas, was on probation in connection with a February vehicle theft and hit-and-run. He also attempted to burglarize an 85-year-old woman who lives in the same neighborhood as Douglas, sources said.
"When the victim, Ms. Douglas, said she didn’t have any money, he started punching and kicking her multiple times," Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Rebekah Wise said previously. "Ms. Douglas fell to the floor. He then continued to kick her."