Man found not guilty of elderly abuse following mother's death

BEAUMONT - A Beaumont man was found not guilty by a Jefferson County jury Thursday of inflicting injuries that led to the death of his elderly mother.

Larry Gilbert,68 , who was charged with injury to the elderly, was found not guilty of causing injuries to his elderly mother that prosecutors said ultimately led to her death in 2014.

Police said Gilbert was caring for his mother when he beat her numerous times.

Dorris Thomas was 83 when she was transported to a hospital in August of 2014 for breathing difficulty.

Doctors discovered Thomas had extensive bruising and eventually died in hospital.

An autopsy revealed she suffered a ruptured spleen, numerous fractured ribs, multiple bruises of the head, neck, chest, and extremities at various stages of healing.

Gilbert's lawyer, Bernie Packard, said he and his client are pleased with the result. 

“(The state) might have proved that he was a bit careless, negligent maybe possibly reckless because he could have called for help," Packard said "He did, he called the fire department twice but some could argue he could have done more but intentionally harmed her no… so we’re pleased with the verdict" 

Gilbert testified in his own defense Wednesday, admitting he was in "over his head" when he was providing care for his mother in the last 6 months she was alive. Gilbert says his mother weighed over 235 pounds while he was only 165 pounds. He said caring for her was a struggle.

Prosecutor Luke Nichols felt the jury got it wrong. 

"I thought he was guilty," Nichols said. "I wouldn’t have tried the case to them but at the end of the day they made their decision and I have to respect that. the facts of the case don’t change and I tried my best to present them the way I did.”

(© 2016 KBMT)


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