Georgia's Trouble With Elder Abuse And Senior Health


June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month. The recently published America’s Health Rankings Senior Report finds the state now ranks 41st in the nation for senior health, down two spots from last year. We talk about the state of our elder care system with Kathy Floyd, Executive Director for the Georgia Council on Aging. And Glenn Ostir, Director of the Institute of Gerontology at the University of Georgia. Listen to the 10 minute interview here

Elder Abuse Advocates encourage seniors to report abuse


On any given day in Chatham County, there may be a caregiver or relative taking advantage of a senior citizen. It could be stealing the elder’s money or it may be worse: physical, mental and even sexual abuse.

Now advocates say there is a place for seniors (anyone age 50 and over) in distress to go for help. They have opened up a new office located inside the Candler Infirmary at 1900 Abercorn Street in Savannah.

“We encourage seniors who have been victims of elder abuse whether it’s financial exploitation, physical abuse, mental abuse to speak up and don’t feel alone because we don’t want them to feel isolated,” said Dionne Lovett from the Area Agency on Aging. “Because now there’s an opportunity for anonymity so seniors don’t have to feel like they’re in the spotlight, they can come and report the abuse.” Continue Reading

Office of the Attorney General, GBI and PAC Recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

Elder abuse is a tragic and evolving problem in our state.

The Office of the Attorney General, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Prosecuting Attorneys Council of Georgia and other stakeholders are working closely together to go after those who seek to perpetrate crimes against our at-risk adults. Sickeningly enough, approximately 90 percent of these offenses are committed by a family member, and, as you can imagine, they are particularly devastating in these situations. 

As we continue to make it a priority to protect our state's most vulnerable citizens, we are urging the public to be on the lookout for signs of elder abuse in all its forms: physical, emotional and financial.

Physical Abuse:

• Pushing, striking, slapping, pinching or beating

• Burning or scalding

• Hitting with a hand or instrument

• Rough handling

• Improper use of restraints or medications

• Intentional injuries such as bruising, burns, broken bones or pain

• Injuries not consistent with medical diagnosis or explanation

• Forcing someone to remain in a bed or chair

• Forcing someone to remain in a room (including locking them in)

Emotional Abuse:

• Threatening someone with violence, nursing home placement, abandonment or neglect

• Verbal abuse including: threats, insults, harassment, name calling or intimidating

• Isolating from friends, family or activities

• Ignoring or excessively criticizing

• Making derogatory or slanderous statements

• Repeatedly raising the issue of death

• Excluding the older person from decision making when he or she is capable and wants to be included

Financial Abuse:

• Misuse of financial resources for another’s gain

• Missing money or valuables

• Credit card charges the individual did not make

• Unusual activity in bank accounts, depleted bank accounts

• Legal documents (such as will or power of attorney) signed by a person who does not understand what she/he is signing

• Checks/documents signed when person cannot write; signatures on checks that don’t resemble the person’s signature

• Eviction notice arrives when person thought s/he owned the house

• Unpaid bills (rent, utilities, taxes) when someone is supposed to be paying them for the person

What can you do?

We must continue the critical conversation about how to implement the best infrastructure possible to support our aging community. If we don’t, we open up the door for our at risk adults to be physically harmed, malnourished, deprived of medical treatment or completely conned out of their identities and benefit information.

The Office of the Attorney General, the GBI and PAC will not stand by and allow this behavior to continue, and we know the citizens of Georgia will join us to end the scourge of elder abuse.

If you believe someone you know is a victim of elder abuse, please use the following resources to report it immediately:

Georgia Department of Human Services:

Division of Aging HOTLINE - 1-866-55AGING

Division of Aging WEBSITE -  

Georgia Bureau of Investigation:

Call: 9-1-1 or your local law enforcement agency

Georgia Prosecuting Attorneys Council:

Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council WEBSITE –

Victim Witness Assistance Program Directory

Georgia’s Older Adults Cabinet

We also want to commend Governor Nathan Deal for creating the Georgia’s Older Adults Cabinet, a committee working to identify ways for Georgia to improve the well-being of its older residents by bringing together state agency heads, participants in the business community, philanthropies and educational institutions whose work supports older Georgians.

The Older Adults Cabinet is Co-chaired by First Lady Sandra Deal and Department of Human Services Commissioner Robyn A. Crittenden. Under their leadership, we are confident that the Older Adults Cabinet will produce thoughtful recommendations and identify resources for our older adults. 

Rise in Financial Crimes against Aging Adults

Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they’re now considered “the crime of the 21st century.”

In Georgia, the number of financial exploitation cases seen by Adult Protective Services, and then referred to law enforcement has increased more than 115 percent since 2010.

We believe that educating our aging adults is critical in fighting this type of abuse. See detailed commentary regarding some of the types of crimes we are seeing below:

1. Health Care/Medicare/Health Insurance Fraud

Every U.S. citizen or permanent resident over age 65 qualifies for Medicare, so there is rarely any need for a scam artist to research what private health insurance company older people have in order to scam them out of their money.

In these types of scams, perpetrators may pose as a Medicare representative to get older people to give them their personal information, or they will provide bogus services for elderly people at makeshift mobile clinics, then use the personal information they provide to bill Medicare and pocket the money.

2. Counterfeit Prescription Drugs

Most commonly, counterfeit drug scams operate on the Internet, where seniors increasingly go to find better prices on specialized medications.

This scam is growing in popularity—since 2000, the FDA has investigated an average of 20 such cases per year, up from five a year in the 1990s.

The danger is that besides paying money for something that will not help a person’s medical condition, victims may purchase unsafe substances that can inflict even more harm. This scam can be as hard on the body as it is on the wallet.

3. Funeral & Cemetery Scams

The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.

In one approach, scammers read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them; scammers will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.

Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members’ unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill.

In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket.

4. Telemarketing

Perhaps the most common scheme is when scammers use fake telemarketing calls to prey on older people, who as a group make twice as many purchases over the phone than the national average.

With no face-to-face interaction, and no paper trail, these scams are incredibly hard to trace. Also, once a successful deal has been made, the buyer’s name is then shared with similar schemers looking for easy targets, sometimes defrauding the same person repeatedly.

Examples of telemarketing fraud include:

“The Pigeon Drop”

The con artist tells the individual that he/she has found a large sum of money and is willing to split it if the person will make a “good faith” payment by withdrawing funds from his/her bank account. Often, a second con artist is involved, posing as a lawyer, banker, or some other trustworthy stranger.

“The Fake Accident Ploy”

The con artist gets the victim to wire or send money on the pretext that the person’s child or another relative is in the hospital and needs the money.

“Charity Scams”

Money is solicited for fake charities. This often occurs after natural disasters.

5. Internet Fraud

While using the Internet is a great skill at any age, the slower speed of adoption among our aging population makes them easier targets for automated Internet scams that are ubiquitous on the web and email programs.

6. Investment Schemes

Because many seniors find themselves planning for retirement and managing their savings once they finish working, a number of investment schemes have been targeted at seniors looking to safeguard their cash for their later years.

7. Sweepstakes & Lottery Scams

This simple scam is one that many are familiar with, and it capitalizes on the notion that “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Here, scammers inform their mark that they have won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind and need to make some sort of payment to unlock the supposed prize. Often, seniors will be sent a check that they can deposit in their bank account, knowing that while it shows up in their account immediately, it will take a few days before the (fake) check is rejected.

During that time, the criminals will quickly collect money for supposed fees or taxes on the prize, which they pocket while the victim has the “prize money” removed from his or her account as soon as the check bounces.

8. The Grandparent Scam

The Grandparent Scam is so simple and so devious, because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts.

Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research.

Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via a third party, which don’t always require identification to collect.

At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”

While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds, the very fact that no research is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer.

9. Door-to-Door Sales Fraud

While door to door sales problems can impact any consumer, seniors are often at home during the day and susceptible to high pressure sales tactics.

Here are some potential “red flags” of a home improvement/door to door scams:

• Work is unsolicited, repairman goes door-to-door. He may show checks received from other neighbors as proof of his credibility.

• Business is not listed in the local phone directory and/or contractor refuses to give out his address.

• There is no written quote/contract.

• Contractor only accepts cash as payment.

• Contractor offers special introductory offers or a discount valid only for today.

• Contractor insists that you pay in full before all work has been completed.

• Small job expands into huge job, or additional problems are later “discovered”.

• High pressure sales tactics, scare tactics or threats.

Elder Abuse a Growing Problem in Newnan

The Newnan Times-Herald

Recent cases of elder abuse might shed light on an expanding crime in Newnan. 
Elder abuse is also called elder mistreatment and refers to the act, or failure to act, by caregivers or another person in a relationship with older adults.
Owner and CEO of Home Helpers of Georgia and Alabama, Beth Dow, has worked with the elderly for more than 10 years. She has noticed that elder abuse is a recurring offense in many caregiver relationships. “I report to adult protective services about every other month,” Dow said on how often she sees cases of elder abuse. 
The abuse comes in the form of neglect or financial abuse in most cases, according to Dow. The caregiver will use, and in some cases, live off of the elder's money.
In cases where the elder can do very little for themselves, the caregiver will go hours without checking in with the elder. Leaving the elder without food or making sure they properly use the restroom can also be categorized as neglect. 
There are other styles of abuse such as: sexual, physical and emotional which are all punishable by arrest. 
There are warning signs and ways to prevent elder abuse. According to the Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services, changes in behavior or emotional state can serve as warning signs. 
The refusal of the caregiver to allow visits with the elder is a possible warning sign along with comments about being mistreated by the elder. 
Joy Shirley, director of the Three Rivers Agency on Aging, says she notices the developing problem and feels that elder abuse is growing.
The state of Georgia has taken steps as recently as March to help prevent elder abuse, adding $766,000 for additional Adult Protective Service workers who investigate abuse of the elderly and disabled. Continue Reading

Murder conviction stands for woman who left veteran outside to freeze

Atlanta Journal Constitution

The state Supreme Court on Monday upheld the murder conviction of a Clayton County caregiver who locked a mentally disabled veteran out of her house in January 2014 and watched television inside while he froze to death.

The frozen body of Arthur Pelham, 66, was found outside the woman’s locked back door.

Dale El Smith, 74, argued in her appeal that she had sent Pelham outside to catch a bus to an adult daycare center that day and that she did not know the center had closed because of freezing temperatures. Continue Reading

Carr: State to continue fight against human trafficking, elder abuse

Suwanee Democrat

THOMASVILLE — Georgia's attorney general told a gathering of area law enforcement officials Friday morning his office will continue a focus on substance abuse, elder abuse and human trafficking.

Speaking to the semi-annual South Georgia Intelligence Network meeting, state Attorney General Chris Carr said the state remains committed to stopping human sex trafficking. The average age of a sex trafficking victim is a 12-14-year-old girl.  Continue Reading

Mom, 86, escapes barricaded room, smelling of urine; couple charged

Gwinnett Co. - Bong Le was wrapped in a blanket and smelled of urine when officers found her under a tree not far from her home Wednesday evening, police said. 

Just hours later, her daughter, Katie Son, and son-in-law, Christopher Huynh, were charged with elder abuse. 

Gwinnett police were called to the 3500 block of Rosecliff Trace in Buford after neighbors spotted Le there. 

The 86-year-old had left her home after being barricaded in a room filled with urine, according to a police report. It is not known where Son and Huynh were when Le escaped.  Continue Reading

Indictments accuse residents of exploiting elderly

The Augusta Chronicle

Richmond Co - 

A Richmond County grand jury returned indictments this week that accuse the defendants of taking financial advantage of elderly residents.

Ronald Clayton Newman Jr., of Fenwick Street, was indicted Tuesday on a charge of exploitation of the elderly. According to the indictment, Newman is accused of obtaining money from a 92-year-old woman through undue influence and false representation from May 1 through Aug. 2.

A report in The Augusta Chronicle stated that the daughter of the elderly woman called police after discovering that more than 25 checks on her mother’s bank account had been written to Newman, who reportedly worked as a handyman.

Continue Reading

Cops: Caretakers neglected 76-year-old, stole money to pay college tuition

Clayton Co. GA -

A 76-year-old woman remains in the hospital after police say she was neglected by three women who also stole her money. 

Patricia Neville was found in October in her Lake Spivey Country Club home with wounds and other signs of neglect that nearly killed her, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

Clayton County police arrested Jennifer Rene Lassen, 35, Shelley Dale Lovegrove, 44, and Alexis Ann Messenger, 26, on neglect and elder abuse charges, according to jail records. 

Continue Reading


An open letter to law enforcement agencies regarding crimes against older adults and adults with disabilities written by a Fraud Unit Sergeant.
“I am willing to bet that during your hiring process most of you wrote something to the effect of wanting to help others that cannot protect or defend themselves, or assist those in need. If so, please read this in its entirety (I know that it is lengthy, but it is so important).   
Our Nation and State are facing a growing population of citizens in need, specifically “at-risk” adults.  

At-Risk Adults are elderly persons over the age of 65, or adults 18 or older who are mentally or physically incapacitated or have Alzheimer's disease or dementia. It is important that we pay close attention to these victims. The elder population is steadily increasing and, what the media is referring to as the “Silver Tsunami” is upon us. It is estimated that within the next 10 to 15 years over 1/5th of the US population will be 65 or older. Over recent years the number of mandated reporters of abuse, neglect and exploitation (A/N/E) has tripled in Georgia. The referrals are flowing in daily. Bad guys prey on these citizens because they are vulnerable, and have pensions, social security, and/or other retirement savings ripe for the taking. 
Crimes that target these at risk victims are serious offenses and can include financial crimes (theft by taking, theft by deception, theft by conversion, Forgery, ID Fraud, etc.), property crimes (burglary, larceny), violent crimes (assault, robbery) and those crimes that occur behind closed doors (battery, simple battery, simple assault, assault, aggravated assault, or false imprisonment related spousal and family physical, verbal and emotional abuses, sexual assaults, and neglect of basic life needs such as food, hygiene, and medical care). The latter group of crimes could occur in family homes, hospitals, nursing homes, and/or personal care homes (licensed or unlicensed). Often victims are either unable to report due to isolation or physical limitations, or unwilling to report due to the fear of retaliation or simple embarrassment that they have allowed themselves to be in such a vulnerable position to begin with. Remember that while we all want to live a long time, none of us wants to be “old”. 
It is important that we treat these crimes with compassion and understanding. Whenever possible call on units or professionals with specialized knowledge in these areas (CID detectives, Major Fraud detectives, SVU, Domestic Violence, State resources, and/or Homicide in a worst case scenario). Often these victims can be difficult to deal with, not out of any ill will, but simply because of confusion issues or lack of full understanding as to what has actually occurred. Do not dismiss these victims out of hand. Do not simply blow these calls off as a “civil matter”. Perpetrators of exploitation will wave a “Power of Attorney” document at you and hide behind it like a shield. All too often those documents are being abused (my detectives have become very adept at taking away their “shield” and using it against them). If you find yourself on one of these calls take it seriously. Write a report! Write a detailed report with all of the available information. If there is a “caregiver” on scene, get their personal identifiers for the report. Ask how they came to be the caregiver (i.e. family member, agency, “friend”, concerned third party). If you are in doubt write the report anyway. If a situation is reported and later turns out to be a non-criminal matter we can always unfound the report.  This is a far better result than failing to report a crime that did actually occur because you just didn’t know.  Supervisors, please pay attention to the reports that you are signing off on and ensure that these reports don’t fall through the cracks. 
If you are making charges on a subject for committing a crime against an at-risk adult, please make sure that the charges for A/N/E are added accordingly. If you are charging one of the crimes above please add the appropriate charges as well:
Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) 16-5-102 relates to physical abuses and financial crimes against at risk victims and reads, in part; 
                16-5-102. Exploitation and intimidation of disabled adults, elder persons, and residents; 
(a) Any person who knowingly and willfully exploits a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, willfully inflicts physical pain, physical injury, sexual abuse, mental anguish, or unreasonable confinement upon a disabled adult, elder person, or resident, or willfully deprives of essential services a disabled adult, elder person, or resident shall be guilty of a felony
O.C.G.A. 16-5-101 relates to Neglect and reads, in part:
16-5-101. Neglect to a disabled adult, elder person, or resident;
(a)    A guardian or other person supervising the welfare of or having immediate charge, control, or custody of a disabled adult, elder person, or resident commits the offense of neglect to a disabled adult, elder person, or resident when the person willfully deprives a disabled adult, elder person, or resident of health care, shelter, or necessary sustenance to the extent that the health or well-being of such person is jeopardized.
Other important laws to remember are 17-3-2 which allows for a 15 year statute of limitations; 17-4-20 which allows for a warrantless arrest in cases where an officer has probable cause to believe that a crime involving physical abuse has been committed against a vulnerable adult; and 16-5-104 which establishes venue in A/N/E either where the victim resides, or where any portion of the crime occurred. 
I am attaching some information that may assist you in the field with handling these calls. One is information on the Georgia Abuse Neglect & Exploitation (GANE) app, for smart phones and tablet devices. The GANE app offers a myriad of information to assist you in the field. It has links to the laws above, contact information for non-law enforcement agencies that offer services, cognitive assessment questions to determine victim capacity, and evaluation checklists for officers to assist in making the appropriate decisions and solid cases. Another attachment is a flyer for the 2 day “boot camp” training put on by the Department of Aging Services related to At Risk Crime Tactics.  ACT is an excellent training to get more in depth information about the things that I am sharing here and to learn to recognize the red flags that you may have missed in previous calls for service. I highly recommend it for officers, investigators and supervisors, and in fact require it of all Major Fraud investigators. “

AG Marshall announces arrests of nursing home workers for intentional neglect of an elderly person in Cherokee County

(Cherokee County Herald)

Attorney General Steven T. Marshall announced the arrests Friday, Feb. 24, of three former employees of Cherokee Health and Rehab nursing home in Centre for the neglect of an 84-year-old resident of the facility. Michele Curry, 42, of Centre, was arrested this morning and has been released on bond. Kacey Allen, 28, also of Centre, and Shawna Rogers, 26 of Rome, Georgia, were arrested this afternoon.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit presented evidence to a Cherokee County grand jury resulting in indictments* on February 15 charging each defendant with one count of Elder Abuse/Neglect in the second degree. It is alleged that Curry, a licensed practical nurse, and Rogers and Allen, certified nursing assistants, were responsible for the care of the bedridden resident throughout the night of Sept. 3, 2016 into the morning of the Sept. 4. They all charted that they had entered the room numerous times throughout the night. A review of the surveillance video showed none of the three entered the room for approximately 11 hours. When the resident was checked on, it was discovered that she had suffered approximately one hundred ant bites. It is alleged this intentional neglect directly contributed to the injuries to the resident.

Elder Abuse and Neglect II (Ala. Code 1975 §13A-6-193) provides that any person who intentionally abuses or neglects any elderly person is guilty of a class B felony if the intentional abuse or neglect causes physical injury. A class B felony carries a possible sentence of two to 20 years in the Alabama Department of Corrections.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting providers who file false claims to the Alabama Medicaid Agency, as well as for investigating and prosecuting allegations of abuse and neglect in skilled nursing facilities.

Attorney General Marshall commended the staff and administration of Cherokee Health and Rehab for their quick reporting of the incident and his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for the thorough investigation leading to the indictment of these individuals and for seeking justice for the elderly resident. 

See full article

Elderly multimillionaire nearly dies of neglect


CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Police are investigating a case of elder abuse in which officers suspect the victim's caretakers stole her money to pay for college tuition. Patricia Neville, 75, lives in Jonesboro, Georgia. When police found her in her home last October, she had life­ threatening wounds too graphic to describe.

Police arrested three people who had been hired to take care of her, but instead, may have neglected her. 

"She was near death. She was near death," conservator Elizabeth Williams Winfield said. Winfield said when she was appointed by the courts last November to be the conservator of Neville's estate, Neville was in poor health.

Continue Reading

Attorney General Chris Carr Announces Charges in Elder Exploitation Case

Coosa Valley News

Attorney General Chris Carr today announced a Cherokee County Grand Jury charged Reginald Keith with one count of Racketeering (O.C.G.A. § 16-14-4(a)) and one count of Exploitation of an Elder Person (O.C.G.A. § 30-5-8(a)).

“Elder financial abuse is a tragic and evolving problem in our state, one that is particularly devastating when perpetrated by a family member,” said Attorney General Carr. “We will not hesitate to investigate and prosecute anyone engaging in these criminal activities. The Office of the Attorney General will continue to make it a priority to protect our state’s most vulnerable citizens and will be even more focused in the future on ending the scourge of elder abuse in Georgia.”

Continue Reading

Cobb widow taken for millions sparks debate over elder abuse


COBB COUNTY, Ga -- By the time help arrived, those who Frances Perkins entrusted with her health and financial security had inflicted significant harm on the Marietta widow.

She lived in squalor with dead rats in her home, suffered from dementia and was caught between her two daughters’ estranged relationship, far removed from the days of operating a country general store and gas station with her husband, Charles, in East Cobb.

Over a lifetime, Perkins amassed wealth from family real estate investments and, after her husband died in 1992, she lived frugally by habits forged growing up during the Great Depression, spending little from her nest egg of millions.

That life changed in September 2011 when, just days shy of her 90th birthday and in early stages of dementia, Perkins signed over financial power of attorney to a man who just a couple years before had been a total stranger.

Continue Reading

Four Officers, Prosecutors honored during Senior Week

(L-R: Kathy Floyd, GCOA; Heather Strickland, GBI; Jason Marbutt, Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney; Erikka Williams, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney; Justin Von Behren, Gwinnett County Police Detective; Kent Lawrence, Eatonton Police Chief; and, Vernon Keenan, GBI Director)

(L-R: Kathy Floyd, GCOA; Heather Strickland, GBI; Jason Marbutt, Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney; Erikka Williams, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney; Justin Von Behren, Gwinnett County Police Detective; Kent Lawrence, Eatonton Police Chief; and, Vernon Keenan, GBI Director)

Honored by Georgia Bureau of Investigation for protecting Georgia’s vulnerable adult population

Atlanta, GA (February 17, 2017) – A Senate and House Resolution presented this week at the Georgia General Assembly honors four public servants who in the line of duty protected vulnerable adults in harm’s way. Senate Resolution 110 was sponsored by Senators Unterman of the 45th, Harper of the 7th and Stone of the 23rd. House Resolution 199 mirrors the Senate resolution and was sponsored by Representative Willard of the 51st and Cooper of the 43rd.

Those honored at the afternoon ceremony were: Eatonton Police Chief Kent Lawrence, Gwinnett County Police Detective Justin Von Behren, Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Erikka Williams and Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney Jason Marbutt.     

“These individuals went above and beyond the call of duty to protect at-risk adults in what were critical situations of abuse and then prosecute their abusers successfully,” commented Vicki Johnson, Chair of the Georgia Council on Aging. “We appreciate the stringent laws that help curb elder abuse; Georgia’s vulnerable and older population will continue to increase as will the need to be diligent.”

From Resolution 199:

  • Eatonton police Chief Lawrence and the Eatonton police worked selflessly to ensure the safety of one of its disabled residents who had been severely neglected by her family members.
  • Gwinnett County Police Detective Von Behren worked relentlessly until he relocated 16 residents and indicted eight people on 53 criminal charges for abuse, financial exploitation, and operating an unlicensed personal care home.
  • Houston County Chief Assistant District Attorney Williams worked diligently on a trial and argued for significant prison time for a subject who was sentenced to 15 years in prison and 16 years on probation for multiple counts of exploitation of an 82 year old resident who suffered from dementia.
  • Cobb County Senior Assistant District Attorney Marbutt worked earnestly on a trial to convict two subjects who were sentenced up to 30 years in prison for 16 counts of abuse and neglect of three mentally ill men who lived in an unlicensed personal care home.
  • “[They] stand as a shining tribute to the strength of human spirit and willpower, and it is abundantly fitting and proper that the outstanding accomplishments of these remarkable and distinguished Georgians be recognized appropriately.”

Gwinnett judge adds to sentence of woman convicted of elder abuse

(Atlanta Journal Constitution)

A Gwinnett County judge had the same question as everyone else when sentencing a woman convicted of abusing a disabled patient in her care.

Judge Tom Davis wanted to know why Lisa Williams punched, kicked and tried to use a dementia patient’s shirt to strangle her back in April.

“Didn’t she have enough going on without you adding to her burdens?” Davis asked in court, according to Channel 2 Action News.

Continue Reading

Mother, daughter appear in court after bones found

(WSB-TV 2)

ATLANTA - A mother and daughter made their first appearance in court Saturday, in connection with a missing elderly woman whose body was found buried in her backyard.

Theresa Frawley and her daughter, Brandy Hodder, face fraud and identity theft charges. Neither are facing murder or abuse charges.

Police said they do not know how or even when the victim, 77-year-old Connie Hodgson, died.

She was last seen alive five years ago. In November, her bones were dug up behind her former home. The house’s new owner made the discovery at the residence on Elsinor Street in East Point. Continue Reading