'He Had Maggots That Were Eating His Body': Wife Charged in Paraplegic Husband's Death - NBC Bay Area
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'He Had Maggots That Were Eating His Body': Wife Charged in Paraplegic Husband's Death

Concord police said it's one of the worst neglect cases they've ever seen.

The wife of a paraplegic man who died one day after being found suffering from severe neglect has been arrested and charged in connection with his death, according to police in the East Bay. Elyce Kirchner reports. (Published Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2016)

The wife of a paraplegic man who died the day after he was found riddled with bedsores and maggots has been charged with homicide in connection with his death, according to police in California's East Bay.

Dormanicia Lawson, 37, is charged with homicide, neglect and child abuse in what police are calling one of the worst neglect cases they've seen. Authorities said she lived at the home with her paraplegic 36-year-old husband, their 11-year-old child and their 19-year-old son, who has severe autism.

Concord police said officers responded Dec. 30 to a 911 call stating the man was having trouble breathing. When he got to the hospital, nurses realized the man was covered in maggots and bed sores.

Detectives went to his apartment, and what they found led to Lawson's arrest.

Police said they found cockroaches crawling next to a maggot-infested mattress, dead flies wedged into the ceiling and a stench oozing from Apartment 206 that neighbor Juan Matus said words cannot describe.

"Oh, my God," Matus said. "What a stinky place!"

In the middle of night, last Thursday, the 37-year-old called 911 after her husband had problems breathing, police said. At the hospital, police say nurses found signs of severe neglect.

"He could not talk. He had shortness of breath. He had maggots that were eating his body," said Concord police spokesman Corporal Christopher Blakely.

The man died at the hospital. Authorities said the apartment he shared with his wife and kids was uninhabitable.

"She had no explanation for it, other than she was tired and stressed," Blakely said of Lawson.

Lawson is being held at the West County Detention Facility in Richmond on $1.3 million bail. She is scheduled to be arraigned Jan. 12.

Lawson declined NBC Bay Area's request for a jailhouse interview.

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