Woman neglects grandma, goes to prison
September 16, 2016
Pictures of Nola Moder's final resting place could only be described as a mix between an extreme hoarder situation and a horror film.
Jamie Dawn Lummus, 41, was tasked with the job of taking care of her 93-year-old grandmother for eight years, before Nola passed away last year.
When officers arrived at the house where the granddaughter and grandmother had been living, they found the conditions extremely unsanitary.
The overwhelming smell of urine poured out from the house, urine stained the carpets and rodent feces covered almost every surface in every room.
There were bloodstains on the carpet and a dead rodent in the closet.
Nola's sheets were soiled and had blood on them and rodent feces, and it was unsure when the last time she had left her bed.
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In Lummus' room, there were food boxes and trash piled in the corner, and you had to climb over piles of stuff to reach the toilet.
An autopsy showed that rodents had been chewing on Nola's feet while she was alive, and had started eating her arms, hands and face after she passed away.
Lummus had been on prescription medication, so she was unsure when the last time she even checked on her grandmother or when she last fed her.
An autopsy report listed the death as complications of elder neglect, severe dehydration and malnutrition.
"She was essentially a prisoner in her own bed," said Deputy District Attorney Rick Casper.
Lummus' attorney, Jamie Henry, said that Nola loved her granddaughter and Lummus stepped up to help when no one else would.
"Jamie being the considerate person she was said that she wanted to move in with her grandma," said Henry.
Henry said that Lummus would take her grandma to appointments and help clean her up as needed.
"Whatever it was that her grandma needed, Jamie provided for her," said Henry.
After a series of medical visits, Henry said that Nola became depressed and that she didn't want to do anything.
"The only thing that kept her going was Jamie's presence," said Henry.
During the final weeks of Nola's life, Lummus said that she was in pain so she upped her dosage of hydrocodone and Xanax and it created a lapse in her memory.
"I loved my grandma. I'll live with that for the rest of my life," said Lummus. "All I want is to get through my recovery and move on."
The pictures showed an open wound on Nola's toe where rodents had been biting her before she passed away, and bedsores all over her body.
"It's disturbing, it's tragic, it's horrific," said Casper. "The idea that someone can be treated this way in their last moments of life."
Casper said that Lummus never reached out for help and kept Nola isolated from the rest of the family.
"This community cannot abide this type of behavior," said Casper.
Both of Lummus' parents came to court to testify on Lummus' behalf, stating that grandma wouldn't want her to go to prison.
"It's not my intent to minimize what happened, I simply did not pay attention to what was happening," said Raymond Lummus. "My mother would not want her punished anymore."
"I don't think prison is going to do any good because she is not a criminal," said Leslie Lummus.
Since the case started, Lummus has stopped taking prescription medicine and has been working on her treatment program.
Lummus has no prior criminal history, but Judge Tom Gregory listed this case as one of the most extreme he had ever seen.
"The law gives careful attention to those who cannot care for themselves," said Gregory. "It was your job to take care of her."
Gregory said that since Lummus voluntarily decided to be Nola's caretaker she should have taken her job more seriously.
"In this case we aren't talking about a singular lapse in judgment, but rather neglect over time," said Gregory.
Lummus was charged with felony neglect of an elderly person resulting in death, and was sentenced to 28-72 months in prison.
She has credit for one-day time served.