2 Columbia Co. women accused in death of elderly woman denied bond

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Friday, Sept. 16, 2011

September 17, 2011

EVANS, Ga-- A Columbia County judge denies bond for two caregivers accused in the death of an elderly woman.

Friday afternoon, attorneys for Deborah Hill and Brittany Hurst went before a judge trying to get them out of jail until trial.

48-year-old Deborah Hill and 19-year-old Brittany Hurst will stay in jail until their trial. This after Judge Bernard Mulherin denies them bond in court. Prosecutors say the women neglected and deprived 85-year-old Blanche Carpenter of food eventually leading to her death.

Prosecutors say Hurst indicated she had fed Carpenter earlier that day, however, then admitted Carpenter had been dead for days in a room shared by Hill's grandmother, Ruth, living in the home.

They also say their Locks Hill home in Martinez was in a deplorable condition. Investigators found feces, old moldy food, and more than 20 cats in the home. Investigators say they found the children had been lying on deflated air mattresses.

Prosecutors also said there were 3 counts of cruelty to children for the same cases, defense attorneys said they were not aware of those warrants. They argued one of the children, 9 years old, had possibly never attended school and another child had probably not attended in years.

News 12 spoke to Deborah Hill's father after court, Jerry Luckey says, "Has your house ever been in disarray trying to get pictures unpacked and paper and one person doing this?"

News 12's Sheli Muniz asks: "So this justifies mold and feces?"

Luckey says, "There wasn't no mold and feces I don't know what they are talking about. That wasn't there when I left."

Luckey says they had just moved in, but the state said it was her 23rd move in 24 years.

Luckey said, "What I seen of that home was not that when I left."

He eventually becomes emotional as he comes to the defense of his family.

Luckey said, "They are not murderers."

That will lie with the jury now, and until then it's behind bars for the both of them.

Judge Mulherin says he denied bond to Hill because she was a flight risk and Hurst for the close tie with her mother. The judge is also afraid witnesses in the case, children, could be intimidated if their mother is released.