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Woman guilty of negligent homicide, failing to report abuse in Exeter grandmother's death

Union Leader Correspondent

December 04. 2017 12:09PM
Meritel Saintil was convicted Monday of negligent homicide and failure to report elder abuse in the death of her grandmother. (Jason Schreiber/Union Leader Correspondent)

BRENTWOOD — After deliberating for nearly 13 hours, a Rockingham County jury found a Maryland woman guilty Monday of negligent homicide and failing to report elder abuse in the death of her 75-year-old grandmother.

Nancy Parker had been left on the floor of her Exeter mobile home for five days in her own urine and feces before she died, according to testimony in the case.

Meritel Saintil, 34, was convicted of the two charges Monday morning. The jury found her not guilty of a third charge that accused her of criminal neglect of an elder adult.

Saintil was charged after a lengthy investigation that began after Parker died in February 2016 in deplorable conditions inside the home.

According to prosecutors, Parker died at the hospital after developing a deadly case of necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating bacterial infection, while she lay on the floor.

Saintil's mother, Katherine Saintil-Brown, 54, of Houston, Texas, also has been charged; she faces trial in January.

Both were described by prosecutors as Parker's live-in caregivers.

Saintil testified in her own defense, insisting that her grandmother didn't want help as she lay on the floor and that she had abided by her wishes.

She also insisted it was normal for her grandmother to wear soiled clothing.

The defense portrayed Parker as an elderly woman who had refused help from many people, including state workers, in the past.

Saintil will be sentenced in January.

Assistant Attorney General Brandon Garod said Saintil faces 3 1/2 to seven years in prison on the negligent homicide charge and another year in prison on the failure to report elder abuse charge.

Garod said he couldn't comment on his reaction to the verdict because Saintil's mother is still awaiting trial.

Defense attorney Robin Melone expressed disappointment in the verdict.

"I think it's obvious that the jury worked very hard. I haven't had a jury out this long in a long time and we appreciate all the work they did. We're obviously disappointed. The fight isn't over. We have sentencing in January so we'll be back then," she said.

Melone said any decision on whether to appeal the guilty verdicts will be made after sentencing. Melone said she felt Parker would be "upset" by the verdict. "I think she would be disappointed.

Saintil remains free on $10,000 personal recognizance bail until her sentencing.

Courts Crime Exeter

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