Police: Man admits to meth use in vicious caning of woman

MANSFIELD – Thomas L. Spencer, 28, of 1015 Mill Creek Road, has been charged with attempted homicide, neglect, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, making terroristic threats and reckless endangerment by borough police following an April 14 incident at 26 S. Main St., Apt. 19.

Witness Lyle England, wearing a bloodstained shirt, alerted police by flashing his high beams, according to reports. England suggested the officer go to Room 19 at Mansfield Inn, where Spencer allegedly was beating Charlene Hairston with a walking cane.

Upon arrival, officers saw a broken necklace near Room 19. They knocked and, after no response, opened the door. Officers allegedly saw large amounts of blood on the floor, walls and bed and entered the hotel room.

A police officer asked where Spencer was and, at that time, Spencer exited the bathroom covered in blood.

When the officer approached Spencer, he saw a female folded over on the bathroom floor with blood dripping off her face, hair and hands in puddles, reports state.

At that point, Spencer was placed in handcuffs and an ambulance was dispatched to the scene.

Hairston was flown by medical helicopter to Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre.

According to witness testimony, Spencer accused Hairston of reporting him to his probation officer for driving without a license.

Hairston told him she hadn’t, but Spencer allegedly began beating her with her own cane, yelling, “Tell me the truth and you won’t die,” according to reports.

England attempted to end the assault, but Spencer allegedly grabbed him by the throat and smashed his head into the wall.

Spencer then allegedly said, “Leave, I’m going to kill her.”

After being taken into custody, Spencer allegedly told police he was on meth and had been up for the past eight days.

Spencer said he “hurt Hairston” and asked if she was going to be OK.

Spencer, denied bail, is being held in Tioga County Prison following a preliminary hearing Wednesday before Judge James E. Carlson.