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Four Held for Trial in Deadly Neglect of Elderly Man

June 22, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kate Kohler, 215.348.6327, kkohler@buckscounty.org

Albert Weaver Jr. Virginia Weaver Amanda Weaver 
    Albert Weaver Jr.                Virginia Weaver            Amanda Weaver 

Anthony Dorney 
      Anthony Dorney

Four Upper Bucks residents were ordered held for trial Thursday on neglect charges stemming from the death of an 84-year-old man who died 12 days after being hospitalized in a state of starvation and septic shock from bed sores.

At a preliminary hearing in Richland Township, Magisterial District Judge Lisa J. Gaier also found probable cause to uphold charges against three of the defendants alleging that they stole from Albert Weaver Sr. or cashed his pension checks after he died on Nov. 22, 2016.

The four suspects include Weaver’s son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter and the granddaughter’s boyfriend, all of whom resided rent- and utility-free in a pair of houses that the victim owned in the 100 block of Union Road, Richland Township.

Police allege that the four received free lodging in return for caring for Weaver, and that most of his pension and Social Security income went toward their living and personal expenses.

The charges say the defendants severely neglected their caregiver responsibilities, allowing Weaver to starve and suffer in a dirty, cluttered home and seeking no medical care for his deep, infected bed sores.

A paramedic who helped transport Weaver to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown on Nov. 10, 2016, testified that she found him lying on a bathroom floor in a dimly-lit mobile home, naked and curled up beneath a blanket.

“He looked scared,” the paramedic said. “He kept pulling the blanket up over his eyes” and mumbled unintelligibly. The room, she said, smelled of rotting flesh.

“I was able to see every rib,” she said. “He had bruises all over his arm” and an ulcer on his right hip, and was dehydrated and suffering from hypothermia.

Weaver was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown, where an emergency room nurse recalled seeing tears in the eyes of two EMS workers who brought him in.

“He was like a skeleton who had a sheet pulled over his bones,” she testified, describing Weaver’s sagging skin. The nurse said she could see his bones through his gaping sores and “it just smelled like death.”

As Weaver grew warmer and more stabilized, he began speaking more clearly, the nurse testified.

“He said that we were his angels, and he never thought he was going to live, to get out of that house…” she recalled. He “said he was stuck in a dark room [and] no one ever talked to him.”

Over the next 12 days, Weaver gained 18 pounds, his weight rising from 132 pounds to 150, but he died nonetheless on Nov. 22. Two forensic pathologists – one of whom conducted Weaver’s autopsy – concluded that Weaver’s death was the result of his having been neglected, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

Charged with neglect of a care-dependent person and recklessly endangering another person are Albert W. Weaver Jr., 52; his wife Virginia L. Weaver, 49; their daughter Amanda Marie Weaver, 26; and Anthony James Dorney, 33, who lived with Amanda Weaver and ultimately summoned an ambulance after the victim became unresponsive.

Neglect of a care-dependent person is a first-degree felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison, while reckless endangerment is a second-degree misdemeanor.

All but Albert Weaver Jr. also are charged with theft by unlawful taking, and Amanda Weaver and Dorney are further charged with conspiracy to commit theft by unlawful taking. The theft-related charges are third-degree felonies, punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Bucks County Detective Timothy V. Perkins testified that all four defendants had acknowledged acting as caregivers in various capacities for Albert Weaver Sr. Virginia Weaver was the primary caregiver, Perkins said, while her husband, her daughter and Dorney assisted to lesser degrees.

The victim resided with Amanda Weaver, Dorney and their children, Perkins testified, sleeping on a recliner later found discarded and burned on the premises.

The caregiving arrangement, Deputy District Attorney Kate Kohler argued to Gaier, amounted to a quid pro quo for the free lodging and the financial assistance derived from Albert Weaver Sr.’s liquid assets.

An investigation of the victim’s bank account showed it was jointly held by Albert Weaver Sr. and Virginia Weaver since it was opened in 2013.

Between that date and January 2017, the affidavit said, more than $154,000 was deposited into the account, mostly from Albert Weaver Sr.’s pension and Social Security payments. By January 2017, the balance stood at $523, Bucks County Detective Eric Landamia testified, with less than $6,500 identified as money used for items associated with Albert Weaver Sr. – primarily insurance premium payments and property tax payments.

The rest was withdrawn via personal checks made out to the defendants and another person, ATM and counter cash withdrawals, checks written for bills and such things as court fees and substance abuse counseling and 41 insufficient funds and overdraft fees, Landamia testified.

For three months after Weaver’s death, police allege, Virginia Weaver continued to endorse and deposit her father-in-law’s pension checks from AMETEK Inc.

The case is being prosecuted by Kohler, and was investigated by the Richland Township Police Department and the Bucks County Detectives.

Each charge is an allegation subject to proof in court. Each of the accused is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

Office of the District Attorney
Bucks County Justice Center
100 N. Main Street
Doylestown, PA 18901 
Phone: 215-348-6344 
Fax: 215-348-6299

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