A Salt Lake City man has been ordered to stand trial for elder abuse in the death of his 74-year-old mother.
Bradley D. Myers, 52, is charged in 3rd District Court with one count of aggravated abuse of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony.
According to testimony at a Thursday preliminary hearing, Myers told police he had not seen his mother out of her chair in the home they shared for at least two weeks before her death in April 2011. Police said Geneil Larsen was covered in feces and urine. Her skin had begun to break down and a pressure ulcer, deep enough to expose muscle and bone, had formed above her buttocks, causing her death, according to court documents.
"When someone assumes the responsibility of taking care of a vulnerable adult, they take on a higher responsibility," Salt Lake County prosecutor Alicia Cook said in court.
Myers' attorney, Paul Grant, said the man had provided care for his mother taking care of her meals, picking up prescriptions but that she had canceled appointments with doctors.
Grant said Myers asked his mother each day when he got back from work if she had left her chair and that the woman told him she had.
"I swear to God I did not know that she was like that," Myers told police at the time of his mother's death, according to testimony.
Grant argued the felony charge should be reduced to a class A misdemeanor.
"He ought to have known there was a problem and he ought to have sought some intervention," Grant said. " 'Ought to know' is criminal negligence."
Judge John Paul Kennedy denied the request and ordered Myers to stand trial on the felony charge, which is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Myers is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 13.
Salt Lake City police officers said the home, near 550 East and 600 South, was covered in garbage, and both human and animal feces. Boxes and other items were stacked more than two feet high in places, blocking the path to the lone bathroom, police testified.
"Even if she wanted to get out of her chair, there was no way she could move around," Detective Michael Hardin said.