NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A Nacogdoches woman has pleaded guilty to charges in connection with the death of her mother and has accepted a 40-year prison sentence.
Melissa Miller Broussard, 42, pleaded guilty to a charge of injury to elderly on Thursday, according to the Nacogdoches County District Attorney Office’s spokesman, Andrew Jones.
Broussard was arrested in June following a four-month investigation by the sheriff's office and Texas Rangers.
Officials began investigating on Feb. 6 when EMS was dispatched to the 15000 block of Highway 259 for a report of an unresponsive woman. The victim was transported to Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital where she was later pronounced dead. The hospital notified officials about her death and an investigation was launched.
NCSO says Cooper's body was in a state of emaciation and an autopsy later revealed that her death was due to dehydration and emaciation from elder neglect.
The sheriff's office said Broussard was the primary caretaker for her mother and that investigators learned that she had the means to provide health care and other basic essentials but failed to do so.
“Sheriff Bridges stated that Elizabeth Cooper was in horrendous condition at the time of her death which could have been prevented by the suspect. This is a brutal case of neglect that happened over a long time span,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement.
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