Crime

Olathe woman died weighing 58 pounds; son refused to take her to doctor: charges

Elderly abuse prevalent in the community

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee says more resources should be devoted to stopping elderly abuse that occurs outside nursing homes.
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Former U.S. Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee says more resources should be devoted to stopping elderly abuse that occurs outside nursing homes.

An Olathe man charged in his 75-year-old mother’s death told investigators he refused to take her to a doctor as her physical and mental health declined, according to court records released Wednesday.

Raymond T. McManness was charged in Johnson County District Court last month with first-degree murder and mistreatment of a dependent adult after his mother, Sharon McManness, was found dead in her Olathe home.

The 51-year-old man called Olathe police to the 300 block of South Cardinal Drive about 3:08 p.m. Jan. 23 after he found his mother not breathing in her bed, according to documents filed with the charges. She was pronounced dead shortly after.

Preliminary findings from the medical examiner’s office showed the elderly woman had died from an infection due to open bed sores. Sharon McManness “suffered from malnutrition and dehydration,” court records said, noting that she weighed 58 pounds.

Sharon McManness had dementia, and the examination showed bruising on her jaw area, wrists and the upper part of her head.

Raymond McManness told police he checked on his mother twice a day.

The Olathe man said he used to live with his mother up until about six months previous. He said he moved out because his mother kept him awake at night, court records said.

It was around that time, he said, that his mother became bedridden.

Police noted Sharon McManness was “very emaciated and had large open bedsores,” court records said. One bedsore was “open to the bone,” and the mattress was dirty.

Police searched the home and found no medications, no clean clothing, no working telephones and minimal food. They found dog feces and urine throughout the house. Court records said soiled clothes that appeared to be cut off the victim were found in a trash can in the driveway.

In an interview at the Police Department, Raymond McManness said he was his mother’s primary caregiver but couldn’t provide authorities with a detailed medical history for her. He said she refused to be treated by doctors, according to court records.

He said he noticed his mother was starting to have problems with her memory about two years ago. Her mental capacity took a turn for the worse in the last two weeks, he said, affecting her ability to make decisions about her health.

Raymond McManness said he checked on his mother each day before and after work, and said he brought her food. He told police she wouldn’t eat food on Jan. 22, the day before her death. He described to police forcefully opening his mother’s mouth to try to get her to eat.

Weeks before she died, court records said, Raymond McManness went to the Kansas Department of Aging regarding his mother.

The agency told him he needed to take his mother to a doctor, the records said. But he did not.

According to court records, he told police he didn’t take her “because he was busy due to the holiday season, and he was scared because he had not been taking adequate care of her.”

An attorney assigned to represent Raymond McManness did not immediately return a message Wednesday night.

Since charges were filed last month, Raymond McManness has remained in the Johnson County jail with bond set at $1 million.

A scheduling conference in the case is scheduled March 13.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.
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