Trial continues for daughter accused of abusing mother

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - By Melanie Posey

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - In June 2008, 90-year old Mary Moore died at Princeton Hospital.

Three months later, Moore's daughter and primary caregiver, Patricia Ford, was charged with her death.  Ford's reckless manslaughter and reckless abuse and neglect trial started this week.

Wednesday, paramedics testified about arriving at the home on Baggett Hills Rd in Adamsville where Ford and Moore lived along with several other relatives, including Ford's children. One EMT recalled smelling gangrene and rotting flesh similar to that of a dead animal along the long road on a summer day.

Inside, they found the elderly woman in a hospital bed with open sores, roaches, maggots, feces, and urine…so bad that Moore was stuck to the sheets.  He told jurors as he lifted her, his hand went through a bed sore on her backside so large and deep it was like sticking his hand through a rotting cantaloupe.

Also testifying Wednesday was Dr. Robert Brissie, the medical examiner that performed the autopsy on Moore's body.  He told jurors Moore died of malnutrition, but mainly from an infection from bed sores so bad that the infection had reached her bones. Her arms and legs could barely be moved.

Brissie said considering Moore's condition, it was hard to believe someone didn't recognize something was wrong with the elderly woman. In a videotaped statement, Ford told investigators that since her mother had gotten older, she'd been harder to move.  She fiercely denied the filth saying she'd be stupid to not have her mother's room clean.  As for the horrible smell, Ford said the whole house had a mold and mildew odor. And she said she had no idea how bad her mother's sores were.

Through tears, she said she struggled with the idea of putting her mother in a nursing home, but felt it was her obligation to care for her instead.

"I thought I had all the knowledge I needed," Ford cried.  "I never thought it would be too much for me."

Testimony continues Thursday.

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