Son pleads guilty in abuse officials say led to father's death
A 50-year-old man pleaded guilty Monday to allowing his elderly father to live in inhumane conditions that ultimately led to the father's death.
Alfonso Patrick Moya Jr. will be sentenced in July on third-degree felony charges of abuse of a vulnerable adult and selling his father's pain medication. He could spend up to 10 years in prisons.
According to police, the elderly man, Alphonso Patricio Moya Sr., was brought into the Veterans Administration hospital on July 15, 2011, covered in urine and feces. After he had been washed, doctors found bedsores on his heels, legs and backside including a wound the size of "two fists."
The next day, the 72-year-old man died.
Medical examiners determined the death to be a homicide caused by dehydration, malnourishment and bedsores due to improper care.
According to police, the senior Moya's feet and legs were swollen to twice their normal size. The man's tongue also was swollen, preventing him from being able to speak or swallow.
Officers who searched the Moyas' home said the home smelled of death and cleaning chemicals. They found a bed, linens and carpets stained with urine and feces.
In an interview with Detective Michael Hardin, the younger Moya said he had not bathed his father in weeks, possibly as long as a month, before he was taken to the hospital, according to testimony given at a preliminary hearing, at which prosecutors laid out evidence against Alfonso Patrick Moya.
But the younger Moya's defense attorney, Andrea Garland, has said the son did not intentionally harm his father.
Earlier in the year, the father had been in a care facility for "two or three months" before he was discharged to live with his son. The son, who appeared at his preliminary hearing with an oxygen tank to help him breathe, has health problems of his own that prevented him from providing care, Garland said.
The father was problematic to care for, Garland added, because of his size, his depression and resistance to care. The attorney said the man would sometimes refuse to get out of bed, use the toilet or change his clothes.
In pleading guilty to the two charges against him, the younger Moya worked out a deal with prosecutors that reduced the severity of the charges.
He initially faced a second-degree felony charge that could have landed him in prison for up to 15 years.