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Police: No charges in Raleigh assisted living homicide

Posted March 8, 2011
Updated March 9, 2011

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— The death of a 93-year-old Raleigh woman in an assisted living facility Monday was ruled a homicide, but no charges will be filed, police said Tuesday.

Rozena Barham Watkins died at WakeMed Hospital after being pushed by a fellow resident of Elmcroft of Northridge at 600 Newton Road in Raleigh on Sunday, police said.

Her body was taken to the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, where it was ruled that she died from complications associated with falling after being pushed and the death was ruled a homicide.

Police conducted an investigation and decided not to charge the woman who pushed Watkins, whose name was not released, because she "possesses pronounced age-related diminished mental capacity," police spokesman Jim Sughrue said in a news release. 


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  • medeanna32 Mar 9, 2011

    As an advocate for the elderly I must say that Assisted Living is just that assistance is required.. How can you say that they go there to die.. Just remember one day you may need an assisted living arrangement or a skilled nursing facility

  • 007 - GranCo - Forever Mar 9, 2011

    What the medical examiner rules and what the DA chooses to charge are two different things.

    What is to be gained from arresting and trying someone who already has been diagnosed with "age-related diminished mental capacity"? You (the taxpayer) loses money, the person being tried winds up in a mental facility that you (the taxpayer) will be on the hook for.

    It's like if you have a couple of 2 yr olds and one pushes the other, the child hits it's head and dies. Is the first child a murderer?

  • zile1porkey Mar 9, 2011

    Maduda get your facts straight assisted living is not where old people go to die. If you were 30 and had a serious stroke you could go there to learn how to live again get assistance with your everyday chores. Some people do live after receiving rehab. They have different wings for different reasons.

  • sammyg Mar 9, 2011

    Jeez maduda...where did you loose your heart??

  • NoObamaCare Mar 9, 2011

    Live 93 years for it to be all "pushed" away!

  • maduda Mar 9, 2011

    "Assisted living" is the short way of saying "Place where old people go to die". Seems to me that the punishment should fit the crime if it's been ruled a homicide. If the woman who pushed the victim has "pronounced age-related diminished mental capacity", then that means she would be mentally incompetent to understand what she was doing. So does that mean that now the police are not going to charge a murderer? Why rule it a homicide then? Rule it something that relates to the alleged diminished mental capacity. Perhaps a 2nd degree manslaughter?