A Newton County mental health caregiver remained in jail Wednesday after allegedly beating her only client to death over the weekend.
Ms. Cornelius Richardson-Bethea, 44, was arrested Saturday and charged with murder in the death of Ms. Susan Walter, a 47-year-old mentally challenged woman in her charge, according to Newton County Sheriff’s Office.
She was also charged with failure to protect a disabled person, the sheriff’s spokeswoman Deputy Courtney Morrison said.
The investigation began about 2 a.m. Saturday when deputies responded to a 9-1-1 call of a medical emergency at Ms. Richardson-Bethea’s home at 10140 Straphinge Trail near Covington.
They found Ms. Walter dead in her bedroom, the spokeswoman said.
“She had a number of bruises on her body, including her head and shoulders,” Deputy Morrison said.
Ms. Walter's body was transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy and officials concluded that the woman died of blunt force injuries, Deputy Morrison said.
Ms. Walter was Ms. Richardson-Bethea’s only client, and there was no one else in the home when deputies arrived, authorities said.
It was unclear how long Ms. Richardson-Bethea had been running a personal care business out of her home or how long Ms. Walter had been a client.
It was also unclear if Ms. Walter had been the victim of an ongoing abuse, Deputy Morrison said.
Investigators are still trying to determine the motive for the murder and they declined to comment on the weapon used.
Ms. Richardson-Bethea was taken into custody without incident, and at a first appearance Monday morning, was denied bond, Deputy Morrison said.
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