WASHINGTON, Pa.—A western Pennsylvania man will stand trial on charges he snatched a woman's purse while she knelt in prayer at church, then hit her in the head with his cane when she caught up with him.

Thirty-nine-year-old Steven Hamilton's public defender wanted an aggravated assault charge dismissed, arguing his 50-something victim wasn't badly injured. But a district judge refused, agreeing with Washington County Assistant District Attorney Christina Fox who says Hamilton "attempted to cause deadly injury, even if he didn't break her skull."

Hamilton allegedly robbed the woman at Immaculate Conception Church in South Strabane Township, about 7:15 a.m. April 3.

The woman testified she offered to sign over a check when she caught up to Hamilton after explaining she had no money. She says Hamilton told her "forget it" and shoved the purse back at her.