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Savage home attack likely over painkillers

By Meaghan Smith, msmith@wcyb.com
Published On: Nov 19 2013 05:09:38 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 20 2013 09:18:18 AM CST

A 65-year-old man was brutally beaten inside his Sullivan County home.

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. -

A 65-year-old man is brutally beaten inside his Sullivan County home.

Deputies say John Byrd was hurt so badly he had to be rushed to the hospital, where he got over 100 stitches. "My husband went down to the hospital at 4 to check on him because they said he might not make it," says Regina Kitzmiller, a neighbor.

Detectives aren't releasing many details, but say Byrd remembers being hit in the head, but doesn't know what type of weapon the attacker used to beat him. 

"The police said it looked like a murder scene, there was so much blood," says Kitzmiller.

Officers believe he lay inside his house, in and out of consciousness, for more than an hour before being able to call the sheriff's office. "The victim lost a lot of blood.  He's lucky that he survived and was eventually able to call for help," says Leslie Earhart with the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.

The sheriff's office tells us Byrd was likely targeted because someone found out he had prescribed painkillers. The pills had been stolen.

Deputies are asking for anyone with any information to contact them.

Byrd has been released from the hospital.