Friday, June 1, 2007

Gory Details Emerge on Second Day of Elder Abuse trial

By Matthew Hill

FAYETTEVILLE — Participants in the trial of a Fayetteville woman accused of elder abuse that led to the death 18 months ago of a woman who lived on her property were subjected Thursday to often gruesome testimony from seven witnesses presented by Fayette County prosecutors.

Kaplan classified King’s injuries to police as “heinous abuse” following his autopsy of her body on Dec. 19, 2005. King died two days earlier following a week of treatment at Raleigh General Hospital.“Ms. King was living in sloven conditions,” Kaplan asserted. “She lived in a condition of neglect for a long period of time. There was chronic grime under her fingernails, her teeth had rotted, and there was a smell of putrefaction (decay) like a dead animal.”King’s hair could easily be pulled from her scalp, Kaplan explained, adding such findings can indicate malnutrition. “I could see her shoulder blade under her left armpit. Four of her five toes (on one foot) were blackened, probably from frostbite and insufficient heat,” he declared. “The underlying problem for Ms. King was being incapacitated and mentally retarded. She had not been taken care of and suffered from prolonged neglect.”

Brian Tanner, a paramedic for General Ambulance, said King was completely naked when he found her on Dec. 10, 2005, and that her trailer reeked of a putrid smell. “My partner vomited when we stepped outside,” he told assistant prosecutor Jennifer Hewitt. “She was in obvious pain whenever I touched her. She seemed confused, frightened and in pain. She seemed not to have been bathed in a long time. She said things that made no sense,” he said.

Tallman recalled she was somewhat “aggressive” in dealing with Parsons at the emergency room. The doctor said she was struck with incredulity over Parsons’ statement that she charged King for rent and cashed her checks.“‘You make her pay rent?’” Tallman remembered asking Parsons. “I threw my hands up and said, ‘Can you not smell (the odor from King’s bed sores)?’”

Abridged >>

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