In a recent opinion coming out of a Virginia court, the defendant’s arguments were partially successful in appealing her guilty convictions. Originally, the defendant was convicted of financially exploiting an incapacitated adult and of abusing or neglecting an incapacitated adult. As a result of the defendant’s arguments on appeal, the court reversed the financial exploitation conviction and affirmed the abuse or neglect conviction.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, the defendant, a woman in her fifties, lived with her mother, who was in her eighties at the time of this case. In the years prior to this conviction, a social worker had visited the defendant and her mother several times, since it seemed the defendant was not adequately caring for her mother in the apartment. The mother relied on her daughter for financial support, sponge baths, and other personal hygiene matters. The social worker had reported on various occasions that the defendant’s mother often smelled of urine, that neither the defendant nor her mother had a bed to sleep on but instead slept on a couch and a chair, and that both parties had refused many of the social worker’s services when she had come to visit.
One day in 2020, the defendant’s mother fell. Two days later, a pest control worker found the defendant and her mother in their apartment and promptly called 911. The defendant’s mother was taken to the hospital, and the doctors reported that she was covered in feces, urine, and bed bugs at the time she was admitted. She had been lying on the floor for two days before she received care, and she was suffering from bedsores that showed the risk of infection. After being discharged, the defendant’s mother died in hospice care a couple of months later.