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Prosecutor: Daughter did nothing as elderly Exeter mother was 'rotting alive'

Union Leader Correspondent

January 11. 2018 1:28PM
Katherine Saintil-Brown held her hands over her face and wiped tears throughout most of the closing arguments in her trial Thursday in Rockingham County Superior Court (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — Nancy Parker was left “rotting alive” on the floor of her Exeter mobile home for five days and her daughter is partly to blame for her death, a state prosecutor told jurors Thursday before they began deciding Katherine Saintil-Brown’s fate.

After three days of testimony, the case against Saintil-Brown was handed to jurors following closing arguments in which prosecutors accused Saintil-Brown of waiting too long to call for help to get her mother, a urine- and feces-covered Nancy Parker, up off the floor.

Defense lawyers argued Parker chose to live in filth, refused help, and led a “sad” and “unconventional” life.

Saintil-Brown, 54, of Houston, Texas, is on trial in Rockingham County Superior Court on charges of negligent homicide, failing to report elder abuse, and criminal neglect of an elder adult.

Her daugher, Meritel Saintil, 34, was convicted of negligent homicide and failing to report elder abuse after her trial last month and was sentenced Monday to two to four years in state prison.

According to prosecutors, Parker died in February 2016 after she was left on the floor for days and developed necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial infection.

Assistant Attorney General Brandon Garod described Saintil-Brown and her daughter as Parker’s caregivers.

Public defender Kristen Guilmette disputed the claim, insisting that it was Saintil, not Saintil-Brown, who was considered the caregiver.

The defense presented in Saintil-Brown’s trial was similar to what Saintil’s lawyers told jurors during her trial — that Parker was a stubborn woman who lived an unsanitary life and often urinated and defecated on herself at home and in the workplace.

Guilmette said Parker had repeatedly refused help from state services and others.

“Nancy had the right to make her own choices, even if they were bad ones,” she said during closing arguments.

Guilmette added, “If she wanted to defecate and urinate on herself and live in deplorable conditions, that was her choice to make.”

Guilmette said Saintil-Brown and her daughter initially tried to help Parker up off the floor, but she told them to leave her alone.

“If she wanted to be on the floor, she was going to be on the floor,” she said. “She wanted to be left alone to do what she wanted, when she wanted.”

By the fifth day, she said, Saintil-Brown had had enough and called for firefighters to help lift her mother off the floor.

Despite her poor hygiene and stubbornness, Garod reminded jurors that Parker was still a human being.

“When a human being is stuck on the floor from waist to toe in their own feces and actively going to the bathroom on themselves, common decency says if you can’t get her off the floor, call for help. More importantly, the law in the state of New Hampshire says if you can’t get her up you have to call for help. No human being, no matter how stubborn or how difficult they are, deserves to suffer and die the way Nancy Parker did,” he said.

Garod described Parker as “rotting alive” as she came closer to death.

Garod said Saintil-Brown had made comments while arguing with Parker that she couldn’t wait until Parker died and was aware that she would get an inheritance.

However, he said the state isn’t claiming Saintil-Brown purposely left Parker on the floor to kill her.

Guilmette said the case wasn’t about inheritance.

Saintil testified in her own defense at her trial last month and testified Wednesday during Saintil-Brown’s trial.

Saintil-Brown did not testify at either trial.

Crime Brentwood Exeter

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