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Jail time for mom who left wheelchair-bound daughter to die alone in family home

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After confessing to leaving her helpless wheelchair-bound daughter who was unable to fend for herself to die alone in the family’s mobile home, Janet Wilson, 54, of Manchester, New Jersey, appeared in Ocean County Superior Court on Aug. 15 where she was sentenced on a charge of reckless manslaughter. Appearing in court in handcuffs and shackles after agreeing to a plea deal, Wilson said before hearing her sentence that she was sorry for what she did, and that she loved her daughter and misses her terribly, according to USA Today.

On May 30, 2013, police visited Wilson’s mobile home to investigate a complaint regarding a foul odor emanating from the residence. When the responding officers entered the home, they discovered the decomposing body of 32-year-old of Rebecca Wilson inside the home. Rebecca had been left to die alone and in a hospital bed inside the home. Police also discovered a dead dog that had been abandoned and left to die in a steel cage inside the home. Rebecca’s remains, surrounded by garbage, food, and piles of boxes, went unreported for three weeks before the gruesome discovery.

… there was trash everywhere.

The home was in such a deplorable state that Manchester code officials condemned the structure, deeming it unfit for human occupancy. reported that the mother had simply given up on her wheelchair-bound daughter who was totally dependent on her mother for her survival. After leaving Rebecca to die alone in that trailer, the mother stayed with friends or at several local motels. Wilson ran off to Reno, Nevada, where she was tracked down and arrested at the Vagabond Motel on June 20, 2013.

Just three days prior to her arrest in Reno, Wilson had transferred $600 from her daughter’s bank account into her own. Rebecca had been receiving funds from Social Security.

"This is just, to me, a horrible thing. To leave a girl basically to die in a bed while you’re out doing whatever the hell you’re doing," said Police Chief Brian Klimakowski said. "To me, it’s just despicable."

The mother’s plea deal resulted in Wilson only being sentenced to a minimum of three years to a maximum of five years behind bars. Had she chosen to fight her manslaughter conviction in court, Wilson could have been sentenced to 10 years in prison. Wilson didn’t have any friends or family in attendance for her sentencing.