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Washington County woman sentenced for abuse, neglect in elder abuse case

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A Washington County woman received an 18-month sentence after pleading guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to one count of abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult.

Amber Nelson of Mendota was a paid personal care services attendant for the victim through the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance’s Commonwealth Coordinated Care Plus Waiver Program.

Personal care services attendants perform basic health-related services, such as helping with activities of daily living essential to health in the home.

Personal care services include assistance with personal hygiene, nutritional support, and the environmental maintenance necessary for Virginians to remain in their own homes or communities.

The Washington County Department of Social Services removed the victim from Nelson’s care in September 2019. While in Nelson’s care, the victim was subjected to filthy conditions, was not fed properly, bathed, or given medications.

When the victim was removed, they had a large cancerous mass on their head and weighed only 65 pounds.

On Oct. 15, 2019, Nelson was arrested and charged by the Washington County Sherriff’s Department.

On Oct. 26, 2020, Nelson pled guilty without an agreement to felony abuse and neglect of an incapacitated adult.

On March 29, Nelson was sentenced to 10 years, with all but 18 months suspended.

Nelson was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $19,243.72 to the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services.

She was taken directly into custody immediately after sentencing.

The investigation of the case was conducted by Attorney General Mark Herring’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, the Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the Washington County Department of Social Services.

“Individuals who take advantage of Virginians who are incapacitated or cannot defend themselves must be held accountable for the harm that they have caused,” Herring said. “I want to thank my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, as well as our partners in Washington County for their hard work and dedication to this case and bringing justice to the victim.”

“I will not tolerate elder abuse and will prosecute it whenever evidence warrants it. My office is proud to do our part to get justice for this victim,” Washington County Commonwealth’s Attorney Joshua S. Cumbow said.

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