Wednesday, June 04, 2008

"It's a terrible case ... I've never seen anything this bad"

The Fort Mill Times (Kansas City) reports that a Lee's Summit woman assaulted and neglected her elderly mother and did not seek medical attention, resulting in her death in February. The woman, Glenda I. Grimes, 55, faces charges of second-degree murder, second-degree domestic assault and misdemeanor elder abuse.

According to this report in The Kansas City Star, the Missouri Division of Senior and Disability Services received a hotline call about the condition of the woman, Glenda Stevens, who was 72-year-old, at least three times, but it did not take action on the case. It was "not immediately clear why."

Ms Stevens suffered a stroke in late 2005, and moved in with Grimes in March 2006, it is reported.

From the Fort Mill Times:

Prosecutors allege that Grimes restrained her 72-year-old mother, Glenda Stevens, to a portable toilet and hit her with her fists. They say Grimes didn't get Stevens medical care, relying instead on home remedies of corn starch and honey, which she used to treat the mother's bed sores.

Stevens' ribs, vertebrae and left leg were broken. In all, she suffered 25 fractures, including multiple rib fractures dating from less than two weeks old to more than a month old, prosecutors said.

Her death has been ruled a homicide caused by multiple blunt force injuries.

"It's a terrible case," Jackson County prosecutor Jim Kanatzar said Tuesday when announcing the charges. "I've been (a prosecutor) for 15 years. We get elder abuse cases presented to us from time to time. I've never seen anything this bad."

Grimes called police in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit on the evening of Feb. 20 to report that her mother had died. She later told officers that her first call was to a funeral home, but that the person she spoke with there told her to contact the police instead.

The officers went to the apartment where Grimes and her mother lived, and they found Stevens dead on a bed in the home's only bedroom. Her body was bruised and had several severe bed sores on it, and her broken leg was wrapped in tape.

Grimes told the officers that her mother was still alive when she left her locked in the apartment earlier that evening. Grimes had gone to McDonald's about 5 p.m. She brought her food back and ate it before checking on her mother about 7:30 p.m., when she found her dead, police said.

Stevens suffered a stroke in late 2005 and moved in with Grimes in March 2006, prosecutors said.

Kanatzar said more charges could come. He said Stevens, a former Wal-Mart employee, had a retirement fund of about $40,000. But Grimes had legal control over it and the account "has been exhausted and cleaned out."

"From the living conditions, it's pretty clear that none of that money was being spent on the care of the victim," Kanatzar said.