No jail for Ohio man convicted in ill wife's death

A judge on Wednesday gave probation to an Ohio man convicted of failing to care for his sickly wife, who was found dead with bedsores and maggots on her body.

Darrel White, 65, also was ordered to receive psychiatric treatment at a Veteran's Administration facility. The Vietnam veteran from Cincinnati pleaded guilty last month to charges of reckless homicide and failure to care for a functionally impaired person.

White's 57-year-old wife, who was bedridden and suffered from debilitating arthritis, was found dead on the floor of the couple's home July 23 with maggots and bedsores on her. A coroner had said she died the day before of sepsis, and evidence showed that maggots had been on her while she was alive, authorities said.

Assistant Prosecutor Mark Piepmeier said White was prosecuted for failing to take care of his wife, but added that White "is one of the first defendants in my 30 years prosecuting that I actually felt sorry for."

"The whole thing is pitiful," said Piepmeier, who agreed with the probation.

Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Ethna Cooper decided White didn't need to go to prison and that White "is also a victim here," The Cincinnati Enquirer reported.

The judge said that the original information after White's arrest — that his poor care of her caused her death — was just part of what happened.

"What occurred in that house is a totally different story," Cooper said.

Piepmeier confirmed Wednesday that authorities are continuing their investigation and that another person may be arrested, the newspaper reported.

White could have received up to 6 1/2 years in prison.

White's attorney, Herbert Freeman, did not immediately return calls.

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Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, http://www.enquirer.com