Granddaughter of woman who was left on floor of mobile home gets 2 to 4 years in prison for role in death | New Hampshire
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Granddaughter of woman who was left on floor of mobile home gets 2 to 4 years in prison for role in death

Union Leader Correspondent

January 08. 2018 12:10PM
Meritel Saintil was sentenced to prison Monday for her role in the death of her grandmother. (Jason Schreiber/Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — The granddaughter of an elderly Exeter woman will spend up to four years in state prison — her punishment for leaving her grandmother on the floor in her own feces and urine for five days.

Rockingham County Superior Court Judge N. William Delker on Monday sentenced Meritel Saintil, 34, to two to four years in prison for her role in the 2016 death of 75-year-old Nancy Parker.

A jury last month convicted Saintil, of Baltimore, Md., of negligent homicide and failing to report elder abuse.

She was found not guilty of a third charge that accused her of criminal neglect of an elder adult.

Saintil's mother, Katherine Saintil-Brown, 54, of Houston, Texas, faces similar charges and went on trial Monday.

Prosecutors described Saintil and Saintil-Brown as Parker's live-in caregivers.

Saintil-Brown made several appearances in the courtroom during her daughter's sentencing and sobbed after learning the sentence.

Jury selection in her trial began a short time later.

Assistant Attorney General Brandon Garod said it was a "difficult and challenging" case and that Parker "must have been an especially difficult person" to care for and live with as she refused medical attention and didn't maintain proper hygiene.

However, he said Saintil's decision to do nothing for five days was "completely unacceptable."

"This case is about the decision she made for five days. The decision to leave her grandmother on the floor for five days without calling for help," he said.

Emergency personnel eventually were called. Parker had developed necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial infection, and died at the hospital.

Garod requested a three- to six-year sentence and a second 12-month suspended sentence.

Defense attorney Robin Melone urged the judge to be lenient, asking for a suspended 12-month sentence.

"Meritel knew what (her grandmother) wanted and knew what she didn't want," Melone said.

An emotional Brenda Merrill, one of Nancy Parker's daughters, spoke at the sentencing, describing her mother's difficult life and how she often thinks about what her final days were like.

"The thought of her suffering for that amount of time is overwhelming for me," she said.

At some points, Merrill spoke directly to Saintil.

"How did you live in that house for five days while my mother laid on the floor? ... What did you think when she moaned in pain?" she said, adding, "I hope when you close your eyes you see my mother laying on the floor."

Another of Parker's daughters, Allison Raiche, said she was asking for "mercy from the court" and felt rehabilitation for Saintil was better than prison.

Raiche said her mother "led a life of misery for herself and those that were around her."

Judge Delker said no sentence would "fix what happened."

"This was, by all accounts on all sides, a terrible tragedy that sadly the criminal justice system is ill-equipped to deal with," he said.

Delker said there were mitigating circumstances and testimony about Parker being a very "willful person who had her views of the world and felt strongly about those," but added that he was "deeply disturbed" by some aspects of the case.

Delker said it was "incomprehensible" that Saintil made no attempt to contact a neighbor, friend or anyone else to get some outside help during those five days.

He also was critical that Parker's other adult children didn't learn about her failing health in her final days until it was too late.

"You did nothing to give them an opportunity to make peace with their mother," he told Saintil.

On the negligent homicide charge, Delker sentenced Saintil to two to four years in prison with one year of the minimum and maximum sentence suspended on condition of good behavior.

She was given an additional 12-month suspended sentence on the failure to report elder abuse charge.

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