Martinez mother, daughter indicted in elderly woman's death

A Columbia County grand jury indicted a Martinez woman and her daughter of murder and cruelty in the death of an 85-year-old woman in their care.

The jury indicted Deborah Yvonne Hill, 48, and daughter Brittany Michelle Hurst, 19, on charges of murder and cruelty to persons 65 years and older, according to court documents released Friday.

They are charged in the death of 85-year-old Blanche Aline Carpenter, a friend of Hill’s grandmother. Hill and Hurst were acting as Car­penter’s caregivers at their Locks Hill home when they reported her death to police Aug. 25.

According to authorities, Car­penter had been dead about two days. An autopsy revealed she died from medical complications of neglect.

Both women initially claimed Carpenter had been responsive earlier in the day in the bedroom she shared with Hill’s grandmother. Hurst later told police she knew of Carpenter’s demise, and she was covered with a plastic sheet that police found in a garbage can, according to investigators.

Hill also faces three counts of cruelty to children and two counts of misdemeanor failure to educate. Authorities say her children, ages 16, 11, and 9, lived in unsanitary conditions and that two had not been sent to school.

The oldest child is with his father. The two others are in the custody of the Department of Family and Children Services.

Hill’s grandmother and her disabled husband, who is under the supervision of Adult Protective Services, are in assisted living facilities.

Hill and Hurst are being held in the Colum­bia County Detention Center.

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