ST. LOUIS COUNTY — A south St. Louis County woman and her husband have been charged with neglecting her incapacitated 81-year-old mother who was hospitalized after suffering from a stroke, bedsores, gangrene and extreme dehydration.
Lori A. Stevens, 47, and her husband, Gordon Stevens, 57, each were charged Feb. 6 with felony domestic assault and misdemeanor elder abuse.
On Nov. 29, Stevens’ mother was admitted to a South County hospital with “altered mental status after she suffered a stroke” and treated for bedsores and dehydration, charges said. The couple was living at Stevens’ mother’s home in the 2800 block of Owendale Court at the time and were caring for her.
According to court records, Lori Stevens has been on probation for abusing her mother in 2015. It’s not clear why she was allowed to return and care for her mother.
Earlier in November, a health aide discovered the woman’s bedsores and told the couple how to care for them, according to charges. The aide also noted the woman’s dehydration and reminded the couple to provide her water.
When interviewed by police, Lori Stevens said she saw no reason to take her mother to the hospital, charges said. Gordon Stevens said he knew his mother-in-law “had a hard time getting water to drink.”
Authorities have described the woman’s injuries as serious. Court records said she is “entirely immobile” and has been bedridden for six years because of hip fractures. She also suffers from delirium caused by Alzheimer’s disease, kidney problems, malnutrition and other illnesses.
Lori Stevens has been on probation since 2016 after pleading guilty to felony charges of abusing her mother in August 2015. Her sentence prohibited her from having contact with her mother “without express consent of victim as verified by” Lori Stevens’ probation officer.
A St. Louis County police spokeswoman said Lori Stevens was permitted to return to her mother’s home to provide care but it’s not clear when or why that decision was made. A spokesperson for the Missouri Department of Corrections, which oversees the state’s probation and parole division, could not be reached Thursday.
St. Louis County prosecutors are seeking to revoke Lori Stevens’ probation.
Lori Stevens' lawyer declined comment. Her husband did not have an attorney yet.
On Feb. 3, the hospital treating the woman filed a petition in St. Louis County Circuit Court requesting a full guardianship go to St. Louis County’s public administrator.
“Due to (the woman’s) inability to effectively communicate or appreciate her medical condition, she is in need of a guardian to make medical decisions on her behalf and care for her basic human needs,” the hospital said.
Bail for the couple was set for each at $150,000 cash.