MINDEN, Nev. — A Nevada woman has been sentenced to up to six years in prison for neglect causing the death of her 93-year-old grandmother, whose feet were gnawed by rodents before she died in her trash-filled, urine-stained home.
A Douglas County district judge sentenced Jamie Dawn Lummus last week to 28 to 72 months for the death of Nola Moder.
Lummus had cared for Moder for eight years before she was arrested in June and charged with felony neglect of an elderly person resulting in death.
Sheriff’s deputies say Lummus blamed the neglect on memory loss caused by her pain medication.
The (Gardnerville) Record-Courier reports (http://tinyurl.com/juh5ah9) that an autopsy showed rodents had been chewing on Moder’s feet while she was still alive, and had started eating her arms, hands and face after she died.
Deputies responding to the home where the two lived said the smell of urine was overwhelming. They found food boxes and trash piled in the corners, urine- and blood-stained carpet, rodent feces on almost every surface of every room, and a dead rodent in the closet, according to a police report.
Moder’s body was covered in bed sores. Her sheets were soiled, with blood and rodent feces. An autopsy report listed her death as complications of elder neglect, severe dehydration and malnutrition.
“It’s disturbing, it’s tragic, it’s horrific,” Deputy District Attorney Rick Casper said. “She was essentially a prisoner in her own bed,”
Lummus’ attorney, Jamie Henry, said that Moder loved her granddaughter and Lummus stepped up to help when no one else would. He said Lummus would take her grandmother to appointments and help clean her up as needed.
“Jamie being the considerate person she was said that she wanted to move in with her grandma,” Henry said. “Whatever it was that her grandma needed, Jamie provided for her.”
During the final weeks of Moder’s life, Lummus said that she was in pain so she upped her dosage of hydrocodone and Xanax and it created a lapse in her memory.
“I loved my grandma. I’ll live with that for the rest of my life,” Lummus said. “All I want is to get through my recovery and move on.”
Both of Lummus’ parents testified at the sentencing hearing on Sept. 12.
“It’s not my intent to minimize what happened, I simply did not pay attention to what was happening,” said Raymond Lummus, her father. “My mother would not want her punished anymore.”
Lummus has no prior criminal history, but District Court Judge Tom Gregory said the case was one of the most extreme he’d ever seen.
“In this case we aren’t talking about a singular lapse in judgment, but rather neglect over time,” the judge said
Information from: Gardnerville Record-Courier, http://www.recordcourier.com