A Rochester liquor store owner was beaten to death with a wine bottle during a heist that occurred inside her shop, police say.
Mother-of-three Charlotte Lahr, 46, was found lying unconscious inside South Ave. Wine and Liquor Thursday when a customer called for help to the scene. Authorities’ efforts to revive the woman were unsuccessful.
Local parolee Kevin Quander, 59, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder and robbery the next day, thanks to surveillance footage of the crime and fingerprints that investigators were able to retrieve from the scene.
According to Syracuse.com, a criminal complaint said Quander “repeatedly beat the victim about the head and face with a wine bottle, causing her death.” He was also reportedly carrying a knife in hand during the brutal attack.
First responders at the scene said that Lahr suffered severe trauma to the head and upper body.
Quander, who has three previous felony convictions — was released just weeks prior to the incident, and is currently on parole for a 2007 first-degree burglary.
The repeat criminal pleaded not guilty to Lahr’s murder during his arraignment Saturday, and was ordered to be held without bail WHEC-TV reports.
Family, friends and community members gathered together for the victim’s memorial service that was held outside her business over the weekend.
“She is a fighter … She fought until the very last breath that she took. I know she fought her best,” Lahr’s sister Anne English told WHAM.
Following the fatal event, Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren called for an overhaul of the parole system.
“Not everyone on parole is going to commit another crime,” Warren said during a press conference. “However, we need to do a better job of working with our parole division.”