Woman Who Left Mentally Retarded Cousin to 'Rot in Her Own Filth' Convicted of Neglect

A Fayette County woman faces up to 35 years in prison after being convicted of neglecting her mentally retarded cousin, who was found naked and covered in waste and sores in a camper-trailer on the woman's property.

A seven-men, five-women jury convicted Jewel Parsons on a charge of intentional neglect of an elder person on Tuesday after more than three hours of deliberations. Parsons, 44, of Fayetteville, also was found guilty of intentional neglect of an elder person, misappropriation of funds that belonged to an elder person and embezzlement by misuse of a fiduciary relationship, all felonies.

Fayette County Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Ciliberti Jr. told the jury that Parsons left her 68-year-old cousin, Naomi King, "to rot in her own filth." King died in December 2005, a week after a paramedic found her naked and covered in dried waste and sores, according to testimony during the trial in Fayette County Circuit Court.

King had lived in a camper-trailer on Parsons' property. She was mentally retarded and unable to handle her finances, according to testimony.

Ciliberti said Parsons used King's money to buy DVDs, tennis shoes and other items for herself.

Parsons' attorney, Dwane Tinsley, told the jury that Parsons became King's caregiver after Parsons' mother died. Tinsley also said King's family was dysfunctional.

"No one else wanted that responsibility. The type of care Jewell Parsons provided was the same type of care Naomi King had always received," he said.

"Jewell Parsons carried food to her trailer every day. She did the best she could to allow Naomi King to maintain her privacy," Tinsley said.

Parsons is scheduled to be sentenced July 20 by Fayette County Circuit Judge John Hatcher. She remains free on bond.