Man accused of beating mom, sister and friend to death with hammer

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HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- A 34-year-old New York man is accused of brutally beating his mother, sister and her friend to death with a hammer.

Bobby Vanderhall's mother had kicked him out of his home and he was homeless, WPIX reports. When Vanderhall returned home around 1 a.m. Saturday and found the doors locked, he became enraged and grabbed a framing hammer.

He allegedly used the hammer to break into the basement door and gain access into the residence. He then bludgeoned his mother to death before going upstairs to kill his sister and her friend.

Vanderhall tried to attack a fourth woman, but she was able to escape, police say. She was taken to a local hospital and is in stable condition.

The victims were identified as Vanderhall's mother, Lynn Reichenbach-Vanderhall, 58, sister, Melissa Vanderhall, 29, and a family acquaintance, Janel Simpson, 29.

Bobby Vanderhall was arrested nearby, sleeping in a car. His prior arrests include DWI and sexual abuse.

Vanderhall is charged with three counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

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