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Hawkins Co. woman charged in death of grandmother

If charged, Barnett could face a Class C felony and 3-6 years in prison.
If charged, Barnett could face a Class C felony and 3-6 years in prison.
If charged, Barnett could face a Class C felony and 3-6 years in prison.(Hawkins County Sheriff's Office)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 7:14 AM EDT
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CHURCH HILL, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Hawkins County woman is behind bars after she was charged in the death of her grandmother last year, Times News reported.

According to the Hawking County Sheriff’s Office, 80-year-old Maggie Ruth Williams dies less than 24 hours after she was hospitalized in November of 2020. Time News reported Williams’ granddaughter and caregiver 36-year-old Misty Dawn Barnett, was indicted on one county of aggravated neglect of an elderly adult in the death of Barnett.

Times News reports Barnett of Church Hill was released on a $30,000 bond after being served with a sealed indictment April 19.

Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Detective Mike Lipe told the Times News on Wednesday that Williams had already passed away and no autopsy had yet been performed by the time Adult Protective Services filed a report with the sheriff’s office.

“Medical records revealed she had large bed sores, had been laying in feces and urine that caused the bed sores, and eventually caused her to be septic,” Lipe said.

According to the indictment, Between November 1 and November 20, 2020, Barnett “knowingly neglected” Williams while she was acting as her caregiver to adversely affect her grandmother’s health. The neglect resulted in serious physical harm to Williams and ultimately lead to her death, the indictment alleges.

Detactive Lipe told the Times News Barnett called 911 seeking medical attention for Williams. Williams was taken to the Holston Valley Medical Center, where she died within 24 hours of her arrival.

“(Barnett) was living with her (Williams) and taking care of her,” Lipe said. “Mrs. Williams went unresponsive, and Misty called 911. EMS responded and took Mrs. Williams to the hospital.”

Lipe added, “We didn’t do an autopsy because she actually died in Sullivan County. But medical records show her care contributed to some of her medical problems. I didn’t have the evidence to support what happened with her care caused her death.”

Times News reported the Tennessee Code Annotated 39-15-508 reads that a caregiver commits the offense of aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult if that neglect results in serious physical harm; or results in serious bodily injury.

If charged, Barnett could face a Class C felony and 3-6 years in prison. She is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Criminal Court on June 11.

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