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A 34-year-old Burton man was sentenced to 20 years in prison late Wednesday for attacking the mother of his former employer with a hammer.
Deqing Chen was found guilty of first-degree burglary and aggravated assault after a two-day trial this week, according to a news release from the 14th Judicial Circuit Solicitor's Office.
Chen broke into the Burton home of his former employer in June and attacked a 45-year-old woman with a hammer. The woman was struck in the back, the arm and in the head, the release said.
During the attack, the victim pulled a mask off the attacker's face to reveal Chen, who had until recently worked as a cook at the Chinese restaurant owned by her son and daughter-in-law, the release said.
Chen ran away but was soon captured headed toward Savannah in a taxi cab.
Investigators said blood on Chen's pants matched the victim's, and a receipt in his backpack indicated he bought a hammer at Walmart about an hour before the attack.
The case marked the first time evidence processed by the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office DNA lab, which opened in May, has been used in court, according to the release.
The case was prosecuted by Jim Bannon of the Beaufort County Career Criminal Prosecution Team.