MISSISSIPPI - Nearly five years ago, a woman was accused of killing her 100-year-old companion in a Massachusetts nursing home, but because of her dementia and inability to stand trial, she was confined in a mental institution.
The murder charge is still in place even though the prosecution acknowledges that the case has the least probability of going to trial.
When Elizabeth Barrow allegedly died in 2009 after being strangled and having a plastic bag put around her head, Laura Lundquist is accused of committing a second-degree murder.
Despite being charged with murder, Lundquist, who was 98 years old at the time of the crime, was unable to stand trial due to a dementia diagnosis.
Prosecutors claim that barely five years later, at 102 years old, the murder case is still valid and still pending, making Lundquist the oldest murder defendant in state history.
Even Barrow's son stopped advocating for the prosecution of the elderly woman because he thought it would have accomplished nothing given Lundquist's situation.
In a Thursday interview, Scott Barrow remarked, "It would be like trying a two-year-old. It's really a terrible thing that it did. Given that she is not mentally competent, how can she be held responsible for this?
Lundquist was charged in 2009, and according to Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, the case is still pending.
Gregg Miliote, a spokesman for Sutter, stated that Ms. Lundquist was declared incompetent to stand trial and that it is unlikely that will change. But every three months, the court is informed on her competency. and the case would advance through the courts if her capacity to stand trial changed.
Scott, on the other hand, believed that the wrongful-death action he brought against the nursing home's owners and managers would eventually be heard by a jury because in 2012, an arbitrator decided that the nursing home was not negligent and rendered a decision in its favor.
The Massachusetts Appeals Court will rule as quickly as possible whether a trial is feasible after hearing the arguments in the case in April.
According to the Yahoo post, Scott Barrow claimed that he had asked the nursing home staff to keep his mother and Lundquist apart but had been told that they get along well.
Lundquist and her husband had shared the space before to his passing in 2007; it is evident that she did not want to leave.
The two women had been offered room swaps twice in the months prior to Barrow's passing, but both declined, according to Scott Picone, the nursing home's operational chief at the time. The man claimed that the two women were cordial toward one another and frequently murmured "goodnight" and "I love you".
In light of the continuing criminal investigation and regulations protecting patient privacy, Lundquist's attorney, Carl Levin, declined to comment on Lundquist's state of health.