The criminal prosecution in the gruesome bedsore-related death of a 77-year-old Baton Rouge woman ended this week when a second granddaughter accepted responsibility for her role, and manslaughter charges were dismissed against the victim's son and daughter.

Barbara Lewis-Brown died July 22, 2018, after she was found suffering from severely infected bedsores and living in deplorable conditions in her North Foster Drive apartment, covered in her own waste with maggots all over her body, authorities said.

Four relatives were arrested and later indicted on manslaughter counts in the case.

Chasity Lewis, 38, of Baton Rouge and one of Lewis-Brown's granddaughters, pleaded guilty Thursday to cruelty to the infirm and negligent homicide and was sentenced to concurrent prison terms of 10 years and five years, respectively.

State District Judge Richard Anderson gave her credit for the two years she has spent behind bars since her arrest.

Lewis identified herself as her grandmother's primary caregiver and admitted to police that she "could have done better," her arrest report states.

Lewis' attorney, Ron Haley, said Friday that she will probably serve another six to seven months in jail.

"My client and her family are relieved that this matter is finally over," he said. "We have maintained that Ms. Lewis never acted with malicious intent. I believe her plea is reflective of that."

Haley thanked the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney's Office for "fair and transparent negotiations in this sensitive matter."

Prosecutors on Thursday dropped manslaughter charges against Lewis-Brown's son and daughter, Carl Lewis, 58, of Zachary, and Chira Lewis, 57, of Baton Rouge.

Chasity Lewis' cousin, Carlnessa Butler, 24, of Baton Rouge, pleaded no contest on July 2 to negligent homicide and was sentenced to five years in prison. She also was given credit for the two years she had spent in jail since her arrest in her grandmother's death and has been released.

A no contest plea carries the same weight in criminal court as a guilty plea but cannot be used against a defendant in a civil proceeding.

East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner Dr. Beau Clark has said autopsy results showed Lewis-Brown died from “complications of infected deep pressure ulcers with superimposed fecal contamination.” She also was malnourished and dehydrated.

Lewis-Brown weighed 103 pounds when she died, authorities said.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.