Hillsborough Sheriff Accuses Man of Killing Wife
An autopsy found that his wife was severely dehydrated and malnourished, Hillsborough deputies said. She weighed 68 pounds when she died.
HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY – A man has been accused causing his wife’s death by failure to provide food, water or medical care to the woman, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Harold Earl Allen, 75, of Tampa, was arrested Thursday (Aug. 14) and charged with one count of homicide-negligent manslaughter/aggravated neglect elderly disabled adult in connection with the Jan. 6 death of his wife, Karen, 74.
Deputies said Allen called them to his home about 8:17 p.m. Jan. 6 saying his wife was dead. Deputies said Mrs. Allen appeared “extremely underweight and emaciated.” She had wounds about her right eye, right side of the neck and around the lips.
Allen told deputies that his wife was bedridden and was non-verbal for at least one week before Jan. 6. Allen said he was Mrs. Allen’s sole caregiver and no other person was responsible for providing her with care and supervision.
Deputies said Allen acknowledged responsibility for providing her with food. Allen said his wife had last eaten Jan. 5.
Allen also told deputies Mrs. Allen had not been seen by a doctor in about five year and that she had been bedridden and non-mobile for about three weeks before her death. Deputies said Allen admitted that he had not contacted medical services or called 911 to help her although he regularly saw the doctor for his own medical conditions.
Deputies said they saw plenty of food in the house and that the kitchen and refrigerator were well stocked with food. The Allens, they said, did not have financial concerns and the house we orderly.
A Jan. 7 autopsy noted that Mrs. Allen’s weight was 68 pounds and she was severely dehydrated and malnourished. The medical examiner said there was no indication that Mrs. Allen had recently eaten before her death. That contradicted Allen’s statements, deputies said.
After continued investigation, numerous medical tests and reviews by both the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office and the Hillsborough CountySheriff’s Office, a decision was made to arrest Allen.
For information about the Hillsborough sheriff, go to hcso.tampa.fl.us.
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