Washington Co., Va. woman sentenced for elder abuse; victim had ‘large cancerous mass’ on head & weighed 65 pounds, prosecutors report

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Photo: Office of Attorney General Mark R. Herring

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. (WJHL) – A Washington County, Virginia woman has been sentenced to serve 18 months after she pleaded guilty to abusing an elderly person.

According to a release from the Office of Attorney General Mark R. Herring, Amber Nelson pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult.

The release states that Nelson, of Mendota, Virginia, was a “paid personal care services attendant for the victim through the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance’s Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver Program.”

Nelson’s responsibilities included helping with daily living and making sure the victim had personal care for hygiene and nutrition. The release states personal care services attendants are also supposed to help maintain a healthy environment for patients.

According to the release, the victim was removed from Nelson’s care by the Washington County Department of Social Services in September 2019.

“While in Nelson’s care, the victim was subjected to filthy conditions, was not fed properly, bathed, or given medications,” the release states.

When social services removed the victim from Nelson’s care, a “large cancerous mass” was found on their head.

The victim also only weighed 65 pounds when removed from her care, the release states.

Nelson was charged and arrested by the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office on October 15, 2019.

The release states Nelson pleaded guilty without an agreement to felony abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult on October 26, 2020. She was sentenced to 10 years with all but 18 months suspended on March 29, 2021.

Nelson was also ordered to pay $19,243.72 in restitution to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, according to the release.

“Individuals who take advantage of Virginians who are incapacitated or cannot defend themselves must be held accountable for the harm that they have caused,” said Attorney General Herring. “I want to thank my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, as well as our partners in Washington County for their hard work and dedication to this case and bringing justice to the victim.”

“I will not tolerate elder abuse and will prosecute it whenever evidence warrants it. My office is proud to do our part to get justice for this victim,” said Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua S. Cumbow.

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