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East Palo Alto woman gets probation for elder neglect

Mother, 87, found emaciated, lying in her own waste

An East Palo Alto woman who pleaded no contest to felony elder neglect was sentenced to probation and had her sentence reduced to a misdemeanor on Friday, Nov. 4, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office said.

Pamela Dorothy Neeley, 51, was supposed to be caring for her 87-year-old mother at home, but a friend who came to visit the mother found her lying in her own waste, having slipped off the sofa onto the floor. The friend called the fire department and paramedics, according to the district attorney.

The mother was malnourished and septic, weighed only 92 pounds and had many pressure ulcers, some down to the bone, according to the district attorney. The mother, who is incontinent, was thought to have been lying in her own waste for more than a month. The neglect occurred between September 2015 and January 2016, the district attorney's office said.

Neeley pleaded no contest one count of felony elder neglect on July 14 on condition of receiving at most two years in state prison. Judge Lisa Novak had Neely examined by a neuropsychologist for psychological and cognitive evaluations prior to sentencing and instead granted her two years of supervised probation with no additional jail time. Neely is to also receive a year of mental health counseling through the San Mateo County Mental Health Services, and she cannot serve as a caretaker for a third person during probationary period.

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