By Nick Janes

ORANGEVALE (CBS13) — A husband rushing to protect his wife from an attacker was killed with the baseball bat he tried to defend her with.

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Sandy Harlow, 61, was housesitting for a friend in Orangevale. When she came to feed the dogs, she says a former resident of the home was in the garage and wouldn’t leave.

She dialed 911, but the cops didn’t show up right away.

“I called my husband and I said, ‘James, please come. Please come I’m so frightened,’” Sandy said.

James Harlow, 62, did come, with a baseball bat. That’s when Sacramento Sheriff’s Deputies say Brandon Biagioni attacked the husband who was twice his age with his own bat.

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James came stumbling out of the garage, bleeding, but conscious. he was able to give deputies a statement before they arrested Biagioni.

Sandy says James seemed OK at the hospital, until he suddenly went rigid from a seizure.

“How can it be that a wonderful man who loved me—that loved me so much, that would come so that I wasn’t scared, and some punk just knocks the s*** out of him with a baseball bat—how can that be?” she said.

She wishes more than anything that the suspect would have just left, saying her beloved husband would still be alive today.

“And then I feel the guilt,” she said. “Because I called him and he loved me so much, now he’s dead.”

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The woman Sandy was housesitting for said she’s known the suspect for a few years, but he’s never been violent with her. She says she feels terrible because Sandy and James are best friends.