RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Pa. (CBS) — Four people are accused of neglect and financial abuse following the death of an 84-year-old man who died after being hospitalized for starvation and septic shock from infected bed sores.
The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday the arrests of 52-year-old Albert Weaver Jr., his wife, 49-year-old Virginia Weaver, their daughter, 26-year-old Amanda Weaver, and 33-year-old Anthony Dorney, who is Amanda Weaver’s live-in boyfriend. They have been charged in the death of 84-year-old Albert Weaver Sr. of Richland Township.
Authorities say the four lived rent- and utility-free for caring for Weaver Sr. and stole and cashed his pension checks after his death.
“They were supposed to take care of him instead they let him waste away until he essentially died of neglect,” said Bucks County District Attorney Matthew Weintraub.
The investigation into the four began in November 2016 when emergency crews responded to an unresponsive person on the 100 block of Union Road. Authorities say an ambulance crew found Weaver Sr. on the floor in a garbage-strewn house. One paramedic who transported Weaver to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown said he “looked like a skeleton with skin hanging on him.”
Authorities say Weaver was so malnourished that his body began consuming its own tissues and organs for sustenance. One bedsore was so severe that after dead tissue was removed the bones of Weaver’s spine were exposed.
After 11 days in the hospital, he was transferred to St. Luke’s Hospice in Bethlehem, where he died on Nov. 22, 2016.
“I think one nurse was quoting as saying that this was one of the worst cases of neglect that she had ever seen,” said Weintraub.
According to an affidavit, Virginia Weaver said she was her father-in-law’s primary caregiver, and was assisted by her daughter and Dorney.
Virginia Weaver said she knew her father-in-law complained of pain from the bedsores, but at the time of his death he had not seen a doctor for 11 months.
The affidavit also states that Dorney told investigators that Weaver Sr. did not eat for two to three weeks prior to going to the hospital. Dorney allegedly told authorities that he delayed calling 911 because he was afraid of losing his home or custody of his children.
The investigation also revealed that a bank account was jointly held by Weaver Sr. and his daughter-in-law since 2013, according to the affidavit. Authorities say that between 2013 and January 2017, more than $150,000 was deposited into the account, mostly from pension and Social Security payments.
All four have been charged with neglect of a care-dependent person and recklessly endangering another person. Weaver Jr. has also been charged with theft by unlawful taking, while Dorney and Amanda Weaver have been charged with conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking.
All four were arraigned Wednesday morning and their bail was set at $500,000 each. They have a scheduled preliminary hearing on April 5.