(MCT) — An unemployed Brookfield man is accused of collecting and spending his wife's disability checks while she was "left to sleep on a cot in her own filth as her condition slowly deteriorated," prosecutors said.
Joseph Duffy, 50, was ordered held on $75,000 bond after being charged with neglecting his wife, who had long-term dementia and was bedridden before her death in September at age 60, prosecutors said.
Duffy appeared before Cook County Circuit Court Judge Geary Kull after being charged with two counts of criminal abuse or neglect of an elderly person or person with a disability, a felony, Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez said in a news release.
According to prosecutors, Duffy and his wife lived in a condominium in Brookfield. Mary Jane Duffy suffered from hydrocephalus, which resulted in dementia in 2005, prosecutors said.
The ailment left her unable to care for herself, prosecutors said. Duffy's wife was retired and got monthly disability checks from her former employer as well as Social Security. She received in-home nursing care and eventually needed daily assistance.
A nurse who came to work for Duffy's wife found her sleeping on an army cot without a pillow in filthy conditions, the release said.
The nurse repeatedly asked Duffy to buy his wife a decent bed, but he refused, authorities said. The nurse used her own money to buy Mary Jane Duffy a pillow, prosecutors said.
Joseph Duffy was supposed to buy food and care for his wife while the nurse was away, officials said. When the caretaker returned, she often found his wife unattended and saw that Duffy had ignored the instructions she had left for him, authorities said.
It's alleged that Joseph Duffy refused to buy his wife bandages for severe bedsores.
In August 2011, Joseph Duffy contacted a hospice to care for his wife, officials said. A nurse who arrived to assess her found she was severely emaciated, had many bedsores and was no longer eating, according to the news release.
After the hospice reported Mary Jane Duffy's condition, Brookfield police went to the home and persuaded her husband to have her taken to a hospital, prosecutors said.
According to the release, as his wife was being taken from the home, Duffy allegedly remarked to one of the officers, "Great, now I am going to lose her Social Security and pension check."
His wife had 13 bedsores and was skeletal in appearance, prosecutors said.
Mary Jane Duffy died nine days after she was placed in an inpatient hospice, officials said.