102-Year-Old Woman Facing Murder Charges In Nursing Home Killing

Laura Lundquist, 102, accused of killing her 100-year-old roommate in a Dartmouth, MA nursing home nearly five years ago, is facing a second-degree murder charge.

Lundquist, who is the oldest murder defendant in Massachusetts history, was 98 when she was charged in 2009 alleging she strangled Elizabeth Barrow. Barrow was found dead in her bed with a plastic bag tied around her head, reported ABC News.

Since then, Lundquist has been held at a psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors say they don’t expect the case to ever go to trial.

Scott Barrow, the victim’s son, said he has never pushed for Lundquist to be prosecuted.

“It would be like prosecuting a 2-year old,” he said Thursday. “It’s just an awful thing that happened. How could she be accountable for this when she’s not in her right mind?”

After Lundquist was indicted in 2009, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said prosecutors pursued a second-degree murder charge because they didn’t believe Lundquist had the cognitive ability to form premeditation, which must be proven in a first-degree murder case, reported the Huffington Post.

Sutter’s spokesman, Greg Miliote, said the case remains open.

“Mrs. Lundquist was deemed incompetent to stand trial, and we are told that is unlikely to change,” he said. “However, the court is updated on her competency every three months… and if her competency to stand trial should change, the matter would move forward in the courts.”

Scott Barrow filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the Brandon Woods nursing home, its owners and operators. In 2012, an arbitrator ruled in favor of the nursing home finding no negligence.

Lundquist believed Elizabeth Barrow was trying to take over the room they shared, Sutter said after she was indicted. Lundquist told Barrow she would soon get her bed by the window because she would outlive her, he said.

Scott Barrow said he asked nursing home staff to separate his his mother and Lundquist, but they assured him the two were getting along. He said his mother did not want to leave the room because she and her husband had lived in the room together before he died in 2007.

After Lundquist was charged, Scott Picone, the nursing home’s chief of operations, said the two women had been offered to change rooms twice in the months before Barrow’s death in September 2009, and both declined. He said the women were friendly to one another, and often told each other “goodnight” and “I love you.”

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