Gloucester man acquitted of elder abuse charge

by Kim Robins - Posted on Jul 13, 2011 - 04:24 PM

A 48-year-old Gloucester man was found not guilty Tuesday of a felony charge of abusing and neglecting his elderly, incapacitated aunt. Erick Wilson pleaded not guilty to the charge, which was dismissed by retired Judge Joseph E. Spruill after day-long proceedings in Gloucester Circuit Court.

Gloucester Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert D. Hicks said Wilson removed his aunt, Regina Wynn, from a Glen Allen nursing home in September 2009 and brought her to his Gloucester home. In November, Wynn, who had dementia, had a feeding tube inserted after a bout with aspiration pneumonia that left her unable to swallow food or thick liquid.

After recuperating in a Gloucester facility, Wynn was released to Wilson’s care in mid-December 2009 after Wilson attended training in her care and feeding her through the tube. Medical records indicated she weighed 122 pounds at the time and a nurse practitioner at the facility said she had no pressure ulcers, or bed sores, when she was discharged, according to testimony presented in court.

On Aug. 6, 2010, Wilson showed up at St. Mary’s Hospital in Richmond with 87-year-old Wynn. Matthew Steverson, an emergency room nurse at St. Mary’s, testified that Wynn was surprisingly small, frail and seemed to be contracted. She also had "multiple wounds in multiple stages" and the strong odor of infection. "The odor was so profound that we were wearing masks in the room," Steverson said. Her recorded weight at the time was 80 pounds.