Woman leaves grandmother in waste-covered wheelchair until bedsores kill her

A New Orleans woman who neglected her grandmother to the point that she died from a bedsore-related illness will be heading to prison.

The Advocate reported that Lauren Looney, 21, will spend five years in prison for the September 2014 death of her grandmother, Bessie Looney, 82. Lauren Looney was 17 when Bessie Looney’s emaciated body was found keeled over in her wheelchair; she was sitting in her own waste and covered in bedsores.

Investigator said the victim died in “horrid conditions.” East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William Clark found that the octogenarian died from a blood infection caused by untreated bedsores, according to WAFB.

Clark testified that Bessie Looney was 82 pounds when she died and had multiple illnesses, including vascular dementia, osteoporosis, and high blood pressure. Toxicology results indicated that she wasn’t receiving medication and was dehydrated, he said.

WAFB reported that Clark deemed 82-year-old’s death a homicide caused by septic shock brought about by infected pressure sores. He said it’s very likely that she would be alive today if she received medical attention.

Two witnesses testified that Lauren Looney was dealing with a lot of work-related stress that caused her to be depressed. Consequentially, she would let everything—including her elderly grandmother’s care—fall by the wayside, they said.

A probable cause affidavit obtained by The Advocate stated that Lauren and her mother, Joleslie Looney, 56, told investigators that they were aware of Bessie’s condition but didn’t believe it was that severe.

Friday sentencing comes a month after Lauren pleaded guilty to manslaughter charges. Meanwhile, Joleslie was convicted of manslaughter in February and will be sentenced on May 31.

Defense attorney Gail Ray told reporters outside of court that the Baton Rouge family has three generations of mental illness. As a result, State District Judge Mike Erwin said he’ll recommend to corrections officers that Lauren participate in a nine-month rehabilitation program where she’ll undergo mental illness and drug treatment, the newspaper reported.

“Hopefully she’ll get some help and the cycle will stop,” Ray said.


[Featured Image: Lauren Looney/East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office]