Woman, Son Due In Court For Failing To Help Dying Relative

Criminal Complaint: 70-Year-Old Woman Remained On Floor For 2 Days Before Death

Published On: Feb 09 2012 08:05:30 AM CST   Updated On: Feb 09 2012 10:17:09 AM CST
MADISON, Wis. -

A Madison woman and her adult son are expected to appear in Dane County Circuit Court on Thursday on accusations they failed to help a relative who lay dying in their home.

A criminal complaint alleges 70-year-old Mary Coleman likely suffered a stroke, then fell out of bed and remained on the floor for two days before she died in August 2009.

An attorney for Veronica King, Coleman's sister, argued King had no legal obligation to help Coleman because Coleman, in fact, was King's legal guardian. Attorney Marcus Berghahn argued in court papers that while King may have had a moral imperative to act, she wasn't legally bound to do so.

King and her 45-year-old son, Steven King, are charged with first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse.