NEW YORK (AP) — A woman who moved in with her severely autistic uncle to care for him instead let him starve to death inside a home that only had bread crumbs and cake frosting, prosecutors say.
Naisia Norman, 22, of the Bronx, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the 2012 death of 42-year-old James Thompson. She was ordered held on $75,000 bail.
Norman, who worked as a home health aide, moved in with Thompson to take care of him after her grandmother died in 2010, prosecutors said. She collected his Social Security benefits, totaling $8,628 from February 2011 to February 2012, and was supposed to use the money to buy him food and medical supplies, according to authorities. But instead, prosecutors allege, she neglected her uncle and spent just $722 on his food and medical supplies.
The 5-foot-8 Thompson, who weighed 145 pounds the year Norman began caring for him, died in June 2012 weighing just 70 pounds, according to prosecutors.
Police officers who found Thompson's body told prosecutors the apartment was "filthy" and there were only bread crumbs and icing in the home. Thompson also had a fractured arm and leg, prosecutors said.
A medical examiner later ruled Thompson's death a homicide, citing nutritional and medical neglect and signs of blunt force trauma, according to the district attorney's office.
Norman's attorney, Victor Bryant, did not respond to a message seeking comment.