Independence man charged in mother’s neglect-related death

Authorites on Wednesday charged an Independence man with involuntary manslaughter in the Nov. 1 death of his disabled mother, who died from complications of neglect.

Jackson County prosecutors allege that James E. Owens failed to provide adequate “nourishment, hygiene and medical care” to his 74-year-old mother. An autopsy determined that Carol F. Brown died from complications of “infected decubitus ulcers and sepsis” due to neglect.

Owens, 52, who shared a home in the 300 block of N. Peck Drive with his mother, told detectives that he did not feed his mother or summon medical help after he thought she had suffered a stroke because she had said she wanted to die at home, according to a police affidavit filed in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Fire and medical crews called to the house Oct. 27 reported finding conditions so filthy and foul-smelling that they had to wear air masks.

At the hospital, a maggot was removed from an open wound on one of Brown’s legs, according to court documents.

Owens told detectives that his mother had not eaten since he fed her Oct. 23 and that she had not gotten out of her recliner chair since then. He told police that she didn’t like hospitals or doctors and would refuse help if he tried to get her medical treatment.

Police noted in court documents that the house will be condemned because of the unsanitary conditions.

Several days after Brown died, prosecutors charged Owens with forgery after he allegedly cashed a government check issued to her three days after her death.

He was charged with manslaughter after police received the autopsy report on Tuesday that listed the cause of death as homicide.

Owens was in custody Wednesday night. Prosecutors requested a $100,000 bond.