Jul 30, 2014

Hartsdale Man Convicted Of Manslaughter In Mother's Death

James Austin of Hartsdale was convicted by a jury Tuesday.

Hartsdale Man Convicted Of Manslaughter In Mother's Death

Editor's Note: The following story contains graphic details.

A jury found a Hartsdale man guilty of one count of manslaughter in connection with the death of his elderly mother last summer.

James Austin, 47, of 300 Chatterton Parkway, Hartsdale, was convicted of one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony, according to a statement from Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore.

    After a jury trial Tuesday, Austin was found guilty in connection with the July 2011 death of his 71-year-old mother, Ida Austin, District Attorney DiFiore stated.

    According to the DA, on July 3, 2011, Greenburgh Police found Ms. Austin at a Hartsdale home at 300 Chatterton Parkway, after her son had called 911 and told the dispatcher she was "unresponsive."

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    "Uniformed officers found the victim lying on a couch, deceased, with rigor mortis having set in," the DA stated. "The victim was covered in maggots and other insects that were infesting the area where she was found. She was lying in excrement and urine, naked from the waist down revealing large open bed sores. She was partially covered in a filthy blanket and wearing a dirty shirt."

    The victim was removed from the garbage-strewn and maggot-filled home.

    After an investigation, her cause of death was determined to be "starvation, dehydration, infection and stage four bed sores," according to the DA.

    Greenburgh Police subsequently arrested James Austin, who was the main caregiver for his mother.

    "Instead of reaching out for help, he consciously ignored her declining physical and mental health, leaving her unattended for hours at a time," DiFiore said after the verdict. "His total abdication of responsibility resulted in utterly abhorrent and deplorable conditions in the home and the ignominious death of his mother."

    James Austin will be sentenced on August 7. He is facing a maximum sentence of 15 years in state prison.

    Assistant District Attorney Lana Hochheiser, Deputy Chief of the Career Criminal Bureau, and Assistant District Attorney Joyce Miller prosecuted the case, DiFiore noted.

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