Any Charges Reported on this blog are Merely Accusations and the Defendants are Presumed Innocent Unless and Until Proven Guilty, through the courts.

April 18, 2011

Man Gets Two Years in Wife's Death (USA)

Man gets two years in wife's death
By Naomi King
Staff Writer
April 16, 2011

A 60-year-old former deckhand from Grand Caillou was sentenced Friday to two years in prison for contributing to the death of his ailing wife a year ago.
Joseph Duthu, who previously lived in Ashland, pleaded no contest to charges of negligent homicide and cruelty to the infirm.
Duthu was the primary caretaker for his wife, Carla Duthu, who died Oct. 17 shortly after the husband was arrested for mistreating her, police said.
The couple's two daughters were also arrested on related cruelty charges and go to trial June 20.
Houma District Judge David Arceneaux issued the sentence Friday. Duthu had faced up to 10 years in prison on the cruelty-of-the-infirm charge and another five years on the negligent-homicide charge.
Duthu's attorney, Jacques Beebe, wasn't immediately available for comment and didn't return calls to his law office after the sentencing.
“The District Attorney's Office fulfilled its obligation by charging him appropriately,” Assistant District Attorney Dixie Brown said after being asked if she thought Duthu's sentence was fair. “The sentence is left up to the judge.”
Carla Duthu, 62, was taken to Leonard J. Chabert Medical Center Oct. 7 after a relative found her “covered in urine and feces from her toes to her ears,” Brown said when explaining the case to Arceneaux. “Her clothes were stuck to her body and the bed was covered in blood from her open bed sores.”
The wife had been bedridden since 1996 after suffering a stroke. Carla Duthu died 10 days later, Brown said, from a heart attack. Her medical condition was worsened by infection from open bedsores, and Brown said the illness made the heart attack more likely.
All three family members told officers that they didn't know how to properly handle the situation, Houma Police said.
Joseph Duthu showed no emotion throughout his court hearing Friday, mostly answering Arceneaux's questions with a “yes, sir” or “no, sir.” His two daughters shook their heads in disagreement as Brown read her office's evidence against Duthu.
The details she revealed had an apparent impact on one spectator who was uninvolved with the case. A shackled prostitution suspect in an orange jumpsuit, in court for sentencing, began to sob openly as she listened.
The sisters later refused to comment on their father's pleading and their upcoming trials.
Tiffany Duthu faces charges of cruelty to the infirm and negligent homicide, while Tessie Breaux faces cruelty to the infirm.
Brown, a longtime advocate for the elderly, said every resident is responsible for reporting abuse.
“As a society and criminal-justice system, we have made great strides to shine the light of justice in child abuse and domestic violence,” Brown said. “And through awareness and prosecution, now the spotlight is uncovering elder abuse.”

SOURCE:      The Daily Comet

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