Florida Man Accused of Severe Elder Abuse

Man Arrested and Charges with Elder Abuse and Neglect for Abusing 93-Year-Old Woman

Elder AbuseA man who has been caring for a 93-year-old woman was arrested on Saturday, October 12th, and charged with elder abuse and neglect after the woman was hospitalized.

Charles Alexander Lyerly, 54, has been caring for the victim, 93-year-old Marion Baldwin, since 2010. He denies all elder abuse allegations.

On Friday, October 11th, Baldwin was admitted to Medical Center of Trinity with two broken ribs, reportedly suffered in a fall the previous Wednesday. When medical staff evaluated her, they also discovered that her feeding tube was filled with a black substance, and the area around it had become infected. Reports state that she had also not been bathed for about a week – her eyes were crusted shut and her lips were flaky.

The following day, a nurse reported that she observed Lyerly in Baldwin’s hospital room, holding the oxygen mask given to the elderly woman to help her breathe. When the nurse ordered Lyerly to put the mask back on Baldwin’s face, he refused. He then began shouting at the nurse and other staff members, which led to security being called to the room. Lyerly then called authorities, accusing hospital staff of neglect.

Baldwin was arrested on elder abuse and neglect charges later that day, and was released on a $5,000 bond on Sunday, October 13th.

Suspect Denies Elder Abuse Accusations

Lyerly has told reporters a different story about the potential elder abuse and neglect that Marion Baldwin suffered. He was hired in 2010 to be Baldwin’s live-in caregiver, he said, and he denies doing anything wrong to her.

“I love her,” said Lyerly. “I would die for her…I’ve done nothing but taken the best care of her.”

Lyerly claims that he was in another room on Wednesday when Baldwin fell. She was trying to go to the bathroom, and he said that when he found her, she had bruised her chest. He called 911, but Baldwin refused to go to the hospital at that time.

“She is delicate and when she tells me not to touch her, I don’t touch her,” Lyerly explained.

He is also adamant that any neglect occurred at the hands of nurses in the hospital. He says that Baldwin’s eyes and lips crusted from neglect in the hospital, and he had removed her oxygen mask to clean her.

“I was cleaning her off.  If that is abuse, then I am guilty,” Lyerly said.

“After I call the sheriff’s department, they charged me with abuse.  If there was abuse going on, wouldn’t they have seen it when the paramedics came?” Lyerly said.

He also said that he had ordered new feeding tubes for Baldwin, but their delivery was late.

Baldwin’s neighbor Phoebe Lakin, a medical assistant, was reportedly asked to come over and help a little in May. She discovered that the home was filthy, and Baldwin was sitting in a recliner. Lyerly was cleaning out her feeding tube with a screw driver.

“He was in the kitchen using a screwdriver to clean her feeding tube,” recalled Lakin.  “I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?”

She immediately called the elder abuse hotline, but when police did a welfare check in July, they reported that everything was fine

“If I was abusing her and neglecting her, why wasn’t I gone a long time ago?” Lyerly questioned.

Lyerly has been banned from visiting Baldwin in the hospital.

The Attorneys at the Strom Law Firm Prosecute Elder Abuse

If your loved one has physically suffered, or died wrongfully, because an in-home caregiver or registered nurse in a nursing home has neglected the patient, you may have an elder abuse case. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand the sensitive nature of elder abuse cases, and will treat you with respect and compassion. It is important to fight felony elder abuse so you, your family, and others no longer suffer because of criminal behavior. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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