Health Aide Starves Uncle to Death-DA
Autistic Man Weighed just 70 Pounds
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- In 2010, James Thompson, a severely autistic and cognitively disabled man in the care of his mother, was 5 foot 8, 145 pounds and otherwise healthy. A little over two years later, when EMTs found him unresponsive on the floor of his Bronx Park South apartment the 42-year-old man was less than half that weight with fractures to his arm and leg.
Bronx District Attorney Robert Johnson announces that Naisia Norman, the autistic man’s niece, has been indicted on charges of: manslaughter in the second degree - P.L. §125.15 (Class C Felony); criminally negligent homicide - P.L. §125.10 (Class E Felony)
The 22-year-old Norman pled not guilty before Justice Oliver. Bail was set at $75,000 and her case will next be held on September 15th in Part 60 Supreme Court.
Norman was the caretaker for her severely autistic and cognitively disabled uncle, taking over his care when her grandmother could no longer live at home and entered a nursing home. Norman had moved in to her grandmother and uncle’s apartment across the street from the Bronx Zoo when she was 16 years old. After her grandmother took sick and was hospitalized Norman applied for and was granted Representative Payee status, which meant she received her uncle’s Social Security benefits totaling over $690 a month. The money was to be used to care for Mr. Thompson.
Of the $8,628 provided to Norman to care for James Thompson between February 1, 2011 and January 31, 2012, Norman reported that she spent only $722 to manage his money for his food, medical and other personal needs.
Prior to her arrest, Norman was employed as a home health care worker.
It is alleged that medical records from early 2010 showed that the 5-foot-8 James Thompson weighed 145 pounds. When he died on June 12, 2012, his autopsy showed his body was only 70 pounds. He also had fractures in his arms -- one acute, one healing. His cause of death was ruled a homicide due to nutritional and medical neglect, with signs of blunt force trauma.
At the arraignment, Assistant D.A. Adam Oustatcher told the Court that on that day her uncle died, Norman called 911, and arriving police noted the filthy condition of the apartment and the lack of food – only bread crumbs and cake frosting found in the house. A lengthy investigation ensued.
If convicted of the charges, Norman faces up to 15 years in prison.