LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Authorities have charged a Nebraska man with abuse of a vulnerable adult after his bedridden, malnourished and badly injured wife died at their home.
The Lincoln man was charged Wednesday as a John Doe because officials don’t believe either of the names he goes by is his real one. A judge set his bail at $250,000 and scheduled his next hearing for Jan 23. Court records don’t list the name of an attorney who could comment for him.
Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner said investigators are trying to piece together the man’s real identity and determine whether he is in the country legally.
According to prosecutors, the defendant called 911 early on Dec. 19 and said that his wife, 68-year-old Delanie Manning, was unconscious and wasn’t breathing. Medics were unable to revive her.
The man said Manning had been bedridden due to medical issues over the past six months and that he brought her water, soda pop and meals but had moved her out of the bed only three times since June. He told investigators that he wanted to take her to a hospital or a doctor, but that he didn’t because she was scared doctors would “put her away,” an arrest warrant affidavit said.
The defendant said his wife couldn’t chew or swallow food in her final three days. He told her the day before she died that she looked bad and he was going to call 911, but he was afraid he would get in trouble, according to the affidavit.
An autopsy showed that Manning was malnourished, had “a large amount of skin peeling off of her lower extremities,” a broken left femur, multiple ulcers and exposed bone on her right ankle and knee. A 2012 driver’s license listed her weight as 152 pounds, but at the time of her autopsy she was under 90 pounds.
The defendant told police that he and Manning had married in Las Vegas in 2003, but authorities could find no marriage license for the two.