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Mother, daughter sentenced in fatal neglect of woman, 85

Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013 11:43 AM
Last updated 6:29 PM
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A Martinez mother and daughter accused in the 2011 death of a elderly woman in their care pleaded guilty Monday.

Deborah Yvonne Hill, 50, and Brittany Michelle Hurst, 21, were charged with murder and cruelty to a person over 65 in the death of 85-year-old Blanche Aline Carpenter in August 2011. Hill also faced charges of cruelty to children and failing to educate her children.

At a hearing Monday, Hill pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, cruelty to the elderly and cruelty to children as part of a negotiated plea agreement with the district attorney’s office, according to Assistant District Attorney John T. O’Neal.

Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Hill to 15 years in prison, followed by 20 years on probation. She is not allowed to be the primary caregiver of any minors or the elderly and isn’t allowed to own pets.

Hurst was sentenced to 10 years on probation after she pleaded guilty to cruelty to the elderly. The judge ordered Hurst to obtain her GED, remain employed and undergo a psychological evaluation and complete any recommended treatment, according to O’Neal.

Hill and Hurst were acting as Carpenter’s caregivers at their Locks Hill home when they reported her death to police on Aug. 25, 2011.The family had moved from Albany, Ga., a few weeks earlier.

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 authorities she knew of Carpenter’s death, and Carpenter was covered with a plastic sheet that sheriff’s deputies found in a garbage can, investigators said.

Authorities say that Hill’s children, then ages 16, 11, and 9, lived in unsanitary conditions and that two had not been sent to school. They described the two younger children as “functionally illiterate,” and the youngest had likely never been to school.

Hill’s grandmother and husband were transferred to the supervision of Adult Protective Services and moved into assisted living facilities.

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my.voice 09/24/13 - 01:50 pm
AC - Do some

AC - Do some proofreading

These "personal care homes" are a farce. Poor old lady lived her life working hard to just get closed up in a closet while they harvested her social security.

Marinerman1 09/24/13 - 03:05 pm
This Ticks Me Off On SO Many Different Levels

First and foremost, A PLEA DEAL !! WHY ??!! I'm really losing patience with all of these plea deals ! Do the crime, do the time. WHERE did all of the money go? Where is the father of these children? They weren't spending the money on a cleaning lady. Did these three children ever make the radar screen anywhere? Mom needs to be thrown under the bus, unless the father is stealing the money. If so, why did she not say something to someone? The ONLY correct thing here, is the forcing of the 21 year-old to get her GED. I really want to know what is going to happen to the children. They are going to have some SERIOUS catch-up to do, to get to appropriate grade level. Somewhere, somehow, the system failed.

pantherluvcik 09/27/13 - 07:06 am
Well it says her grandmother

Well it says her grandmother and husband were sent to assisted living facilities. So maybe the father needed care as well. I don't understand how people can even rationalize their actions when they abuse people in their care. So sad.

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