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Two plead no contest to involuntary manslaughter in elderly woman’s neglect death

Two people accused of neglecting an elderly woman to death in Mahanoy City in 2015 have pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter.

Charges of third-degree murder, recklessly endangering another person, and neglect of care of a dependent person were dropped.

Schuylkill County Judge John E. Domalakes ordered presentence investigations of John F. Latshaw Jr., 59, and Dorothy Robinson, 55, before he imposes sentence at 9:30 a.m. May 2.

Mahanoy City police officer Thomas J. Rentschler charged Latshaw and Robinson in the August 2015 death of Latshaw’s 76-year-old mother, Elaine Latshaw.

An autopsy revealed that sepsis and dehydration contributed to her death.

Latshaw also suffered from untreated pressure sores on her buttocks, back and feet. One foot was black and appeared mummified, according to an affidavit of probable cause.

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by Rentschler with District Judge Anthony J. Kilker of Shenandoah, Rentschler and Mahanoy City emergency medical crews arrived at Elaine Latshaw’s home at around 11 a.m. Aug. 15, 2015, after a 911 call concerning a possible death.

Robinson and Latshaw were there, and told Rentschler Elaine Latshaw had died.

Her room smelled strongly of urine and feces, and she was in a soaked diaper, lying in a bed on which the bare mattress was soiled with waste and blood.

Elaine Latshaw was not breathing, was cold to the touch and had no pulse, Rentschler wrote.

Rentschler wrote that the autopsy report, from Reading Hospital, stated she died from aspiration pneumonia due to multiple pressure ulcerations, gangrene and malnutrition due to hypertensive vascular disease with vascular dementia.

Medical neglect contributed to Elaine Latshaw’s death, the report said.

Latshaw and Robinson told Rentschler they fed Elaine at around 4:30 a.m. that day.

Robinson told him she was Latshaw’s primary caregiver because John Latshaw is a truck driver and was typically gone during the week.

Robinson said the elderly woman had developed a cough the previous night, but didn’t have medical problems in the past and didn’t take any regular medications.

Elaine Latshaw had been confined to her bed since being brought home from a Weatherly nursing home in December 2014, Robinson told Rentschler.

The officer also found liquid-filled cups and dead maggots.

Latshaw told then-Police Chief John Kaczmarczyk that he had power of attorney for his mother, and that he and Robinson got about $1,200 a month from her Social Security.

They used the money to buy adult diapers and medical supplies, but it didn’t cover those bills.