One of three Aurora siblings who admitted to criminally neglecting their elderly mother was sentenced to three years in prison Thursday by a Kane County judge who called the woman’s deteriorated condition “horrific and disturbing.”
“Kevin Roberson was capable of caring for his mother. He just chose not to,” Judge Clint Hull said Thursday.
Roberson, 43, faced a sentence of anywhere from probation to five years in prison after pleading guilty to criminal neglect or abuse of an elderly person.
Martha Roberson, 77, was removed from the rented house on Randall Road she shared with three of her children in October.
She had lice in her hair, a gangrenous foot that required amputation and a number of bedsores, one of them deep enough that bone was visible at the base of it, doctors testified at his sentencing hearing.
Roberson’s siblings, Connie and Alan Roberson, are set to be sentenced Monday.
The trio pleaded guilty to the same charge.
There was testimony at Kevin’s hearing last month and again Thursday for his siblings that Martha Roberson’s monthly pension and Social Security checks, about $1,500 total, paid the rent on the house, and that her children were worried they would not have a place to live if she were in a nursing home.
Roberson told investigators that he worked a full-time job and it was primarily his sister’s responsibility to care for their mother. And he refused to help bathe his mother or change her diaper because it made him uncomfortable, he told police.
His reasons for not taking a more active role in his mother’s care did not impress the judge.
“The law does not allow a caregiver to bury their head in the sand and be relieved of criminal responsibility because they’re busy or because it’s hard,” Hull said.
The statute on neglect of an elderly person includes language that a caregiver who makes a good faith effort at providing aid, but fails, won’t be considered criminally liable.
“I don’t find you made a good faith effort,” the judge told Roberson. “I don’t find that you made any effort.”
After being discharged, the mother was placed in a DeKalb nursing home, according to Aurora Police Det. Andrew Wolcott, who said she is becoming more alert thanks to improved conditions.
She will need reconstructive surgery, however, on her most serious bedsore, according to authorities.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun