Judge rules Baton Rouge woman competent to stand trial in mother's death

Judge rules Baton Rouge woman competent to stand trial in mother's death

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - One of the women accused in the death of an elderly woman found dead in 2014 is fit to stand trial.

A judge ruled Monday that 53-year-old Joleslie Looney is competent to stand trial in the death of her mother, Bessie Looney. In February, a judge ruled that Joleslie Looney would be evaluated by doctors at a hospital to determine if she was sane during the time of her mother's death.

Joleslie Looney and her daughter, 19-year-old Lauren Looney, are facing manslaughter charges in connection with the case.

In September 2014, investigators with the Baton Rouge Police Department found Bessie Looney, 82, dead in "horrid conditions."

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. William "Bo" Clark said Bessie Looney died from a blood infection caused by untreated bed sores.

"The cause of death is sepsis secondary stage decubitus ulcers, secondary to chronic immobility," Clark said. "Other associated findings associated to the cause of death were malnutrition, dementia and cardiovascular disease."

According to police, Joleslie and Lauren Looney were the victim's primary caregivers and had knowledge of the elderly woman's condition, but failed to seek medical help. They allegedly also attempted to discard items inside the home that would reveal the lack of care that was given.

Lauren Looney's attorney said she was under the control of her mother and may have been a victim herself. In May, her attorneys asked for a little more time to review reports from doctors and will be back in court in October.

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