Man convicted of neglect that led to wife's death says she refused help

Man convicted of neglect that led to wife's death says she refused help

MONROE COUNTY, MI (WTOL) - A 67-year-old man faces several years in prison after his wife died of neglect.

Debbie Shelton, 61, was found unconscious by emergency crews and taken to the hospital in December 2016. Personnel said she had skin damage that showed extreme neglect including a large abscess on her abdomen filled with live maggots. Shelton later died at the hospital.

"It was the worst thing that she had to leave out of my life as early as she did," said Debbie's 67-year-old husband Robert Shelton.

The two were married for 36 years.

Shelton says his wife was severely obese, weighing more than 500 pounds. He also said she had diabetes.

Shelton's medical condition became such a problem, she could not control her bodily fluids.

"I had people come over to help me get her up to bathe. We took her to the shower to bathe and she would not get in," Shelton said.

Shelton says his wife's health took a turn for the worse when she began to reject help.

"She told me that she wanted to go be with her mom and dad that had passed away years ago," Shelton said.

Near the end of his wife's life, Shelton says his wife continued to refuse any help.

"She did not want me to see her body. She was a proud lady and she gripped it so hard that her feet went through the bottom of the hospital bed so I couldn't look at her body," Shelton said. "And this is why I didn't know. And I told them that, I told them if I would have saw it, I would have done my best to get her out of there."

Shelton was convicted of gross neglect and manslaughter.

He will appear in court Friday for sentencing. He faces up to 15 years in prison.

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