Monday, September 17, 2007

Brothers Tie Up 85 year old Father for a Slow Death

By DAVID DISHNEAU HAGERSTOWN, Md. -- Two men have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of their 85-year-old father who police found bound to a chair with a leather dog leash and sitting in his own waste, authorities said Friday.

Kenneth A. Record, 61, and Gerald W. Record, 46, were arrested Thursday and held in lieu of $750,000 bond after a grand jury indicted them on the murder charge and on charges of manslaughter and abuse or neglect of an adult, Lt. Mark Knight said.

Their father, Robert C. Record, died April 5, about a month after emergency medical workers were called to a mobile home and found him sitting in his own waste, unresponsive, dehydrated and covered with bed sores, police said.

An autopsy concluded that he died of complications from dehydration, bed sores, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease, the Washington County Sheriff's Office said.
Knight said ambulance workers who went to the trailer March 6 called police because the bizarre scene suggested abuse.

The brothers weren't charged with elder abuse sooner because once their father was removed from the home, his safety was assured and police could conduct a thorough investigation, Knight said.

"I've been a social worker for 33 years and this is the worst case of elder abuse that I've ever seen," said David A. Engle, director of the Washington County Department of Social Services.
Knight said Kenneth, who was unemployed, and Gerald, who worked at a Wal-Mart about 25 miles away in Frederick were in the habit of leaving their father alone and restrained by the 4-to-5-foot leash.

"He couldn't walk or get around by himself," Knight said. "They didn't want him to fall out of bed and they didn't want him to fall out of the chair, so they figured if they tied him to a chair, he wouldn't fall out of it."

Record had been released to his sons from a Hagerstown nursing home at his request Feb. 15, Knight said. It wasn't clear whether the brothers have lawyers. The state public defender's office declined to comment on the case.

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