Hope Mills woman pleads guilty to neglect in mother's death
Posted November 7, 2011
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Hope Mills woman has been placed on probation after pleading guilty to letting her mother die in squalid conditions in the woman's home, authorities said Monday.
Nancy Byrd Lewis, 59, pleaded guilty to felony elder abuse. She was sentenced to up to eight months on probation, was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and was barred from working at a day care center or retirement community.
Investigators with the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office said Lewis called 911 about a year ago to report that her mother was unresponsive. Paramedics found that Hazel Tolbert Byrd, 79, was dead and was lying in several days worth of feces and covered in maggots from her waist to her feet.
An autopsy determined that Byrd, who was filthy and had numerous skin ulcers and matted hair, had been dead for at least a week before Lewis called for help.
Byrd had a stroke in 2005 and moved in with her daughter after being released from the hospital. Byrd hadn't seen a doctor since that time and stopped taking medications for diabetes and high blood pressure authorities said.