NORFOLK, Va (WVEC) — A couple has admitted to their roles in the starving, beating and providing of terrible living conditions for mentally challenged adults.
Carol Velez and her live-in boyfriend, John Durham, were arrested and charged abuse and neglect of incapacitated adults back in April. They both pleaded guilty to the crime days ago.
The investigation into their unlicensed group home for mentally challenged adults began last year, according to court documents. A patient inside their home in the 6500 block of Hudson Avenue called for medical care. A paramedic would find “several” unsupervised mentally challenged adults, documents state.
Adult Protective Services was contacted and started investigating after a 65-year old man with Alzheimer’s and dementia was transported to the hospital. He weighed 116 pounds and had several injuries, paperwork stated.
The victim told investigators that Velez would starve him and leave him locked inside of his room. He was only fed oatmeal and noodles while the cabinets and refrigerator were sealed shut, according to the documents. Investigators found bed bugs and several beds in the attic area of the home.
The victim claimed that Velez would beat him in the head and face with a stick on numerous occasions. One wound on his foot, that was created when Velez stomped on it, was wrapped in tape, a search warrant stated.
The paperwork said Velez was paid $600 a month by the victim’s wife for care. Online records said the man survived the abuse.
Velez is currently serving a little more than a year in prison. As a part of his plea deal, if Durham adheres to certain terms and conditions, his charge could be dropped next year.
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