Local News

Caregiving couple charged after senior dies in squalor

MOSCOW, Idaho - A Moscow couple who were supposed to care for a vulnerable adult allegedly let the man starve to death in filthy living conditions.

Lindsey Winter, 21, and Charles Wright, 24, have been charged with neglecting a vulnerable adult resulting in a death, exploitation of a vulnerable adult and welfare fraud.

The case began back on November 3, 2013 when Moscow police responded to an unconscious male inside a trailer home on Brent Drive. Officers found 67-year-old Lee Pohrman naked on the kitchen floor. Pohrman was living in such squalor that officers said they became nauseous inside the trailer. He was covered in bed sores and doctors determined his nails hadn't been trimmed in a year.

Pohrman was later pronounced dead at Gritman Medical Center in Moscow and the cause of death was determined to be months of malnutrition.

Winter and Wright were supposed to be taking care of Pohrman beginning in February 2011. Pohrman's doctor says he suffered from bipolar disorder and needed constant care. Wright spoke with detectives and stated Pohrman was to pay them $400 a month for care giving however neither Winter nor Wright had any training for care giving. The only significant connection between the couple and Pohrman was that Winter is described as a family friend.

Investigators determined the couple allegedly removed nearly $50,000 from Pohrman's account, roughly five times more than the amount they were to be paid for his care. Police also said the couple committed fraud in receiving nearly $11,000 in food stamps while not reporting income for taking care of Pohrman.

Wright reportedly admitted to police in an interview that he "did a piss poor job" when referring to his care of Pohrman in the time before his death.

The couple was arrested on the felony charges and have since posted bond.

Winter is scheduled to have a court hearing Wednesday afternoon while Wright is scheduled to have his preliminary hearing later this month.

Evan Ellis / KQQQ Radio in Pullman contributed to this report.