ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Bloomfield woman, 62, was convicted in May in 2007 death of mentally retarded son.
Sandra Greenwood, convicted in May of neglect in the September 2007 death of her 26-year-old mentally retarded son, was sentenced Wednesday to two and a half years in prison, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Jared Greenwood was found dead, covered in feces, dirt and garbage on the bathroom floor of the Greenwoods’ home in Bloomfield, and according to the state Office of the Medical Investigator, he died from a blood infection caused by lying in the same position for more than a week.
Jurors in May deliberated for 13 hours before finding Sandra Greenwood guilty of second-degree neglect.
Greenwood, 62, could have received a maximum sentence of 15 years in prison, but prosecutors asked that she be sentenced to seven and a half years, the Daily Times said.
“Jared Greenwood was a severely mentally disabled young man who depended on his mother his entire life for his health care,” prosecutor Carolyn Wilber told the judge. “His mother failed him.”
The defense asked for leniency and wanted Greenwood to be given probation, the paper reported.
State District Judge John Dean said the incident is unlikely to happen again and that it was unlikely that Greenwood intended that it happen, the Daily Times said.
“I think it is unreasonable to say that this defendant does not deserve some punishment for her behavior,” Dean said. “This didn’t happen overnight and any reasonable person in her condition would not only have asked for help but would have received help.”
Dean imposed a 15-year sentence, suspending all but two and half years, ordering that after her time behind bars, Greenwood serve two years on parole and five years on probation, the Daily Times said.
Dean also said Greenwood will not have to serve 85 percent of her sentence before becoming eligible for parole, which is normally required for a violent crime, the paper reported.
Public Defender Douglas Wood said he would file an appeal, according to the Daily Times.
6:00am 5/25/09 — Bloomfield Woman Convicted in Son’s Death: Jury deliberates 13 hours before finding mother guilty of neglect of mentally retarded man.
A state District Court jury deliberated for 13 hours before finding a Bloomfield woman guilty late Friday of neglect in the September 2007 death of her 26-year-old mentally retarded son, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Sandra Greenwood, 62, was released under supervision and will have to report to pretrial services this week before sentencing, which could result in up to 15 years in prison, the Daily Times said.
“This is not what we hoped for,” Greenwood’s public defender Douglas Wood said. “We really do appreciate that the jury spent as long as they did deliberating.”
Wood said, however, that there will be an appeal, citing mitigating factors such as Greenwood’s medical condition at the time of the incident, the paper reported.
“This is the longest deliberations I’ve ever had as an attorney,” Wood told the Daily Times.
5:55am 5/21/09 — Manslaughter Count Dismissed in Neglect Case: Bloomfield woman still faces more serious neglect charge in 2007 death of mentally disabled son.
State District Court Judge John Dean on Wednesday dismissed a fourth-degree involuntary manslaughter charge against 62-year-old Sandra Greenwood of Bloomfield, who is on trial for allegedly leaving her mentally retarded son to die without aid, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Dean said prosecutors failed to prove the manslaughter charge, but jurors will still consider the more serious charge of neglect of a health care resident causing death, a second-degree felony, the Daily Times said.
Greenwood’s 26-year-old son Jared was found dying on the bathroom floor of the family’s Bloomfield home in September 2007, covered in filth, according to earlier reports.
Public defender Douglas Wood argued that the manslaughter charge in New Mexico requires a dangerous action be taken and that Greenwood’s alleged inaction cannot constitute the criminal offense, the Daily Times said.
“Doing nothing does not represent an act,” Wood told the court.
But prosecutors maintained Greenwood’s action was her decision to do nothing, and the home was kept in filthy condition and Greenwood chose not to clean dried feces from her son’s body, prosecutor Brigitte Thomas said.
“He was in these conditions for at least days,” Thomas argued. “I think we all know not doing something is still a choice.”
8:50am 5/19/09 — Trial Starts for Mother Accused of Fatal Neglect : Prosecutors say autistic 26-year-old Bloomfield man was found dying in garbage and his own waste.
A jury trial began Monday for a 62-year-old Bloomfield woman who is accused of failing to help her 26-year-old mentally disabled son as he lay dying on the bathroom floor of the family’s home, covered in human feces, dirt and garbage in September 2007, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Sandra Greenwood, who was found competent to stand trial in February, is charged with second-degree neglect of a health-care resident or fourth-degree involuntary manslaughter, the Daily Times said.
If she is found guilty of the more serious charge of neglect, she could face up to 15 years in prison, the paper reported.
The Office of the Medical Investigator ruled that the cause of Jared Greenwood’s death was a blood infection developed through several large open bed sores on his body, the Daily Times said.
“Jared had to be lying in one position for quite some time without care,” prosecutor Carolyn Wilber told jurors in her opening statement Monday.
Prosecutors also allege that Greenwood left the home and was in a motel the night before her son died in the family bathroom, the paper reported.
Public defender Douglas Wood countered by saying Jared was not as helpless as prosecutors had portrayed him and that some of his own habits likely contributed to his worsening condition, the Daily Times said.
The trial is scheduled to run through Friday, according to the Daily Times.
5:35am 2/3/09 — Bloomfield Woman Found Competent: Mother, 61, accused of leaving her 26-year-old autistic son to die in September 2007.
The trial of Sandra Greenwood, 61, of Bloomfield, charged in the death of her 26-year-old mentally disabled son in September 2007, will move forward after psychological testing found her fit to stand trial, the Farmington Daily Times reported.
Greenwood is accused of leaving her son Jared, who suffered from autism and severe mental retardation, to die on the bathroom floor of the family’s Bloomfield home while covered in feces, dirt and garbage, the Daily Times said.
The man was being cared for by his mother after the state stopped paying for his care in March 2007 because Greenwood stopped requesting continued disability assistance, according to prosecutors.
Greenwood is charged with second-degree neglect of a health care resident and fourth-degree involuntary manslaughter and if convicted as charged she faces more than 16 years in prison, the Daily Times said.
Criminal proceedings came to a halt in June over concerns that Greenwood was not mentally competent to stand trial, but the Public Defender’s Department said in a motion last month that “a psychological evaluation indicates that Ms. Greenwood is competent,” court documents said.
“That’s a legal determination of her ability to proceed to trial. It says nothing about the case itself,” Chief Public Defender Christian Hatfield said.
Trial is expected to be set for May, the Daily Times said.
Greenwood was released from the San Juan County Detention Center in November 2007 on a court order, the paper reported.