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A 53-year-old home healthcare aide is facing a year in jail after being convicted of abusing the 86-year-old woman she was charged with looking after.
During her trial last week, prosecutors from Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office described Elizabeth Peters as the home healthcare aide from hell. For two weeks in 2008, she pulled chairs out from under the Bath Beach senior, who was suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia. She let the senior lie on the floor of her Benson Avenue apartment for over a half hour as she watched television and made phone calls. When Peters had to move the woman, the caregiver dragged her around the apartment by her ankles, said prosecutors.
Peters’s crimes weren’t brought to light until after her victim’s son set up a small “nanny cam” inside the apartment to catch her misdeeds. The senior’s daughter also came by for an impromptu visit and found her mother lying on the floor, Assistant District Attorney David Kim told a jury.
Defense attorney Michael Cibella said his client didn’t mean to hurt the senior, who suffered bruises to her arms and back as a result of her time with Peters.
Peters tried to move the senior when she fell, but couldn’t, Cibella told jurors, adding that what was seen on video “were the actions of a home health care aide who didn’t handle a bad situation well.”
Peters was convicted of endangering the welfare of an incompetent person on Nov. 9. She faces a year in jail at sentencing on Jan. 5, a spokesman for the Kings County District Attorney’s office said.
More cruel caregiver stories
A grand jury indicted a Bedford Stuyvesant woman for killing her 4-year-old daughter on Sept. 2 — even though the city’s Administration of Children’s Services may be partly to blame.
Officials from Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes’s office said on Nov. 9 that Carlotta Brett-Pierce is facing life in prison for tying little Marchella Pierce to a bed inside their apartment and battering her with household items, according to court papers. Brett-Pierce also deprived her daughter, who was born with a medical condition that required her to use feeding and breathing tubes and spend most of her life under medical supervision, of food and water and force fed her over-the-counter drugs like Claritin.
When Marchella died, she weighed just 18 pounds, prosecutors said. Responding officers found ligature marks on her wrists and ankles consistent with being bound by cords.
Brett-Pierce was first charged with assaulting her daughter after she was accused of beating and whipping her in the weeks leading up to her death. One of the attacks took place just before Pierce died, when the hungry girl dared to get a snack from the refrigerator, prosecutors were told.
The murder charges came weeks later, after it was determined that the 4-year-old died of “child abuse syndrome” which included acute drug poisoning, blunt impact injuries, malnutrition and dehydration.
Brett-Pierce is currently incarcerated on the initial assault charges. She has yet to be arraigned for her daughter’s murder.
At the same time, prosecutors are also trying to see if the city’s Administration of Children’s Services could be held culpable in the little girl’s death. City investigators had been monitoring Pierce, but hadn’t checked on the girl during the three months leading up to her death.
Hynes said he wants to know why the visits never took place, as well as the role of the Child Development Support Corporation, a private agency the city hired to follow Pierce’s case.
“Given the history of the Nixzmary Brown tragedy and the city’s failure to protect that child, I am sufficiently troubled by the death of this child that I want to find out why she died,” Hynes told reporters.
Representatives to both the city’s Administration of Children’s Services and the Child Development Support Corporation said they were cooperating with the probe.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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