Siblings charged with neglect of bedridden adult in Rhea County, Tenn.

Siblings charged with neglect of bedridden adult in Rhea County, Tenn.

February 14th, 2018 by Ben Benton in Breaking News

A brother and sister from Rhea County, Tenn., have been charged with felony neglect after the discovery of a woman in their care who had not been moved from her bed in years.

George Gill and Joyce Hensley were charged on grand jury indictments after a tip led authorities to the siblings' property, Rhea County Sheriff's Office investigator Rocky Potter said.

George Gill is charged with neglect and abuse of a vulnerable adult in a Rhea County Sheriff's Office case.

George Gill is charged with neglect and abuse...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Joyce Laverne Hensley is charged with neglect and abuse of a vulnerable adult in a Rhea County Sheriff's Office case.

Joyce Laverne Hensley is charged with neglect and...

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

The tip came through 911 dispatchers from Adult Protective Services, acting on a request for a welfare check on an adult who was possibly "in an unhealthy living environment," Potter said.

When officer Jamie Gravitte arrived, she couldn't get in the door but she could see a bedridden woman who appeared to be dazed, living in a room with a "very strong smell of ammonia," Potter said.

"It was obvious she was in very poor physical condition," Potter said. An ambulance was called to the home and emergency medical personnel took the woman to Rhea Medical Center, where they kept her about three days, he said.

"She had several large, open bed sores. She was covered in urine and feces all the way up to her hair. The mattress when we got it moved was feces- and urine-soaked all the way through the mattress onto the floor," Potter said.

"She had larvae in some of her open wounds," he said.

The woman — age 58 or 59 — was bedridden for several years and her muscles had atrophied to the point she was no longer mobile, the detective said.

Potter said the woman was living in a mobile home next door to the mobile home where Gill and Hensley were living.

After she was treated at the hospital, the victim was taken to LifeCare Center of Rhea County in Dayton. The facility has been providing wound care and rehabilitation of her muscles, Potter noted.

"Now, she can sit in a wheelchair and she's getting more mobile," he said.

Potter said he was unsure why the woman had become bedridden.

"People who knew her from church a few years ago said she was walking like normal" when they last saw her, he said. "I don't really know what it was."

LifeCare officials are working with state officials and the victim's insurance provider, and "they're going to try really hard to give her permanent care, a permanent residence," Potter said.

The siblings, out on bond, are subject to a no-contact order regarding the victim.

Gill was freed on $10,000 bond while Hensley was released on a $7,500 bond. They both face a court date on March 2 before Circuit Court Judge Justin Angel, according to court officials.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at bbenton@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6569. Follow him on Twitter @BenBenton or at www.facebook.com/benbenton1.


This story was updated Feb. 14, 2018, at 11:43 p.m.


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