A California mother-of-two was arrested for letting her paralyzed husband get eaten alive by maggots inside their cockroach-infested home. Dormanicia Lawson was just sentenced to only four years in jail for the death of her husband, Mark Fulgham.
Dormanicia Lawson, 37, called 911 when she realized her husband was struggling to breathe last December, the Daily Mail reports. Mark Fulgham died of severe dehydration, infection, and malnutrition one day later in a local hospital. The paralyzed 36-year-old man’s body was also reportedly infected with bed sores.
Local law enforcement officials deemed the death of the man eaten alive by maggots to be the worst case of neglect they had ever investigated, NBC News notes. When the murder and abuse case came to trial late last month, California jurors were reportedly unable to agree on a murder charge. The murder case has now been dropped by the prosecutor’s office.
Dormanicia Lawson pleaded guilty to abuse of her husband. She was also convicted on two counts of child abuse related to the care of her own children last month as well. The abuse charges levied against the California wife and mother were not deemed violent offenses. Lawson could be eligible for parole in only two years.
Lawson was charged with murdering Fulgham through “extreme neglect.” During her trial, the California woman testified Mark Fulgham had been abusive to her and was actively resisting medical treatment. She further alleged her paralyzed husband both hit and cursed at her when she encouraged him to seek help, even when she tried to call 911 to get an ambulance. Jurors split eight to four on the murder charge, causing the charge to be dismissed.
Dormanicia Lawson was arrested by Concord Police Department officers after doctors and nurses tasked with treating her husband, discovered the maggots eating away at his infected bed sores.
“You would think he was a corpse just by the way he looked,” Concord Police Department Corporal Christopher Blakely, said. “It was horrific. [It was] the most severe case of neglect that I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been an officer here for 10 years.”
Corporal Blakely also told the media Mark Fulgham could not talk and had shortness of breath when he arrived at the hospital.
“He had maggots that were eating his body,” the shocked California police department spokesman also noted.
Dormanicia Lawson and Mark Fulgham were married for 12 years. Fulgham was paralyzed sometime in the past few years, according to his Facebook page.
When Concord Police Department officers arrived at the apartment where the couple and their children were living, they were reportedly stunned by an “awful odor” rather quickly. Once inside the dwelling, the officers discovered the home was infested with flies, cockroaches, and maggots.
The police officers also eventually unearthed human feces, rotting garbage, and a heavily stained mattress on the floor. Corporal Blakely stated Dormanicia Lawson’s children were also in the home when the officers arrived. The children were described as being “dirty” and emitting a “foul odor.”
When Lawson was asked if she was neglecting her paralyzed husband, she had no answer to the question, Corporal Blakely added.
“She had no explanation for it, other than she was tired and stressed,” the Concord Police Department spokesman continued.
Blakely also noted Lawson had been caring for her paralyzed husband, a teenager with severe autism, and an 11-year-old child. The youngest child was taken into state custody. After police officers completed their investigation inside the home, the residence was reportedly sealed off due to its vastly unsanitary state.
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