Thursday, February 24, 2011

Mother, son accused of neglect death of California man with CP will go to trial, judge rules

From the San Diego Union-Tribune:

EL CAJON, Calif. — The case of a 28-year-old handicapped man who authorities say died from severe neglect under the care of his mother and brother will go to trial, a judge ruled Feb. 22.

Deborah Marlow, 59, and her son, Christopher Marlow, 27, waived their rights to preliminary hearings in El Cajon Superior Court and a trial was set for June 13.

They are accused of neglecting Jeremy Marlow, 28, who suffered from cerebral palsy and mental disabilities. He died in January 2010 after living in squalid conditions in their El Cajon-area apartment, authorities said. (The bed he died in is pictured.)

Their Graves Avenue apartment was full of garbage, rotting food, feces, urine and cat hair, sheriff’s investigators said.

Mother and son are charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect of a dependent adult with an allegation of causing great bodily injury, and animal cruelty. Deborah Marlow is also charged with two counts of grand theft on allegations that she didn’t properly use the government funds she was receiving to care for her son, said Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals.

The abuse came to light on Jan. 21, 2010, when Christopher Marlow called 911 to report that his brother was having trouble breathing. Arriving paramedics discovered the filthy conditions and reported the case to law enforcement.

Jeremy Marlow, weighing less than 100 pounds, died about five days later at a hospital.

Arrest warrants for the pair were issued in April, but they had fled to Georgia, leaving a cat behind in their apartment, authorities said. Detectives found the cat two weeks later, but it had to be euthanized because it was too aggressive.