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Chambersburg man gets prison for neglecting elderly mother

September 11, 2008|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- A Chambersburg man is going to state prison for at least five years for leaving his elderly mother alone lying in her own waste for several days last year.

David B. Baine, 52, of 666 Broad St., was sentenced Wednesday in Franklin County Court by Judge Carol Van Horn on charges of neglect of care, aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. He was found guilty of the charges during a July jury trial.

Police were called to Baine's home July 8, 2007, after the landlords reported no signs of activity at the house for several days. Inside, lying naked on the living room sofa was Baine's mother, 86-year-old Agnes Baine.

The affidavit of probable cause stated that she was unable to walk, malnourished, dehydrated and lying in her own excrement and urine. The affidavit stated she was complaining of being hungry and trying to eat a "rotten banana peel."

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"Please just let me die," the woman said as she was being taken from the home by an ambulance crew, the affidavit stated.

"His testimony was that he believed his mother was capable of taking care of herself," when he left her alone for a week or longer last year, said his attorney, Assistant Public Defender Paul Rockwell. "I argued to the jury that the commonwealth hadn't really proved that my client knew (his mother) was unable to care for herself."

Baine told Van Horn that his alcoholism affected his ability to see that his mother could not care for herself, Rockwell said.

Police said Agnes Baine had been in a nursing home several months before the incident, but that her son had taken her home. Rockwell said that stemmed from a similar incident in which Agnes Baine had to be hospitalized for health reasons, then institutionalized.

Since July of last year, Agnes Baine has been declared incompetent and been in a nursing home, Rockwell said.

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