Man accused of attacking elderly couple indicted

The 83-year-old Scotia woman attacked in her home last month remained hospitalized and unconscious t

The 83-year-old Scotia woman attacked in her home last month remained hospitalized and unconscious this week, nearly a month after the brutal attack, family members said.

Meanwhile, the man accused of attacking Elisabeth Gelber and her husband, Julius, has been formally told that he has been indicted by a Schenectady County grand jury, prosecutor Philip Mueller said Thursday.

Details of the indictment, however, won’t be available until it is handed up later. This week’s notification averted a preliminary hearing that had been scheduled for Thursday.

Juan S. McCray, a 45-year-old ex-convict, was charged last month with burglary and robbery. Authorities have said he targeted the home after he accompanied his wife, a home health aide, on a visit to the Gelbers, a visit the Gelbers complained about.

Elisabeth Gelber took the brunt of the assault. She was beaten and tied up. She suffered the head injury that required emergency surgery. Her husband, Julius, 94, his mobility hampered by a prior hip injury, was choked but otherwise not injured.

The Gelbers, married in 1946, are parents of nine sons. They’ve lived in the Sunnyside home for all but 10 years of their marriage.

One of their sons, Arthur Gelber, said this week in an e-mail that there has been no significant change in his mother’s condition.

He credited hospital staff for taking great care of her. The family is appreciative of their work, he said. Elisabeth Gelber was taken to Ellis Hospital after the attack.

“The Gelber family has been shaken, but we are a resilient bunch with a strong belief in goodness,” Arthur Gelber said. “My parents taught us well.”

McCray indicated at a court appearance last month that he would be seeking his own attorney. Scotia Village Court officials Thursday, however, said he was still officially represented by the Public Defender’s Office.

McCray, who has a history of burglary and robbery convictions, is accused of returning to the home the evening of Nov. 8, walking through an unlocked door and attacking the Gelbers.

Given past convictions, McCray could face life in prison if convicted of the Gelber attack. He is being held without bail in the Schenectady County Jail.

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