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April 29, 2015

Chester County man charged with leaving father, 90, to die

Police say he also stole $30,000 from the elderly man

A Chester County man faces multiple charges after allegedly stealing $30,000 from his elderly father and leaving him unattended for two years in a room in his home, NBC10 reports.

Edward O'Brien III, 61, of West Chester, is charged with 3rd degree murder, involuntary manslaughter and theft, following the 2013 death of his father, Army veteran Edward O'Brien Jr.

O'Brien pulled the then 90-year-old man out of an acute care facility where he was recovering from a fall in 2011. He claimed he could no longer afford the medical expenses, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan.

Initially he left his father, who needed around-the-clock care, in the dad's Collingswood, New Jersey, home, authorities said. Police discovered he was not receiving the necessary medical attention during a well-being check on May 30, 2011, and subsequently informed his son they would report the matter to Adult Protective Services, the investigation shows. At that point, O'Brien brought his father to his West Whiteland Township home, police said.

"Then his son essentially put him in a room and left him in the room for two years," Hogan told NBC10. "No doctor, no prescription medication until his father essentially rotted to death. He died with bedsores all over him. He died with feces all over him. He literally drowned in his own bodily fluids because he did not have prescription medication."

According to the DA's office, the elderly man weighed only 130 pounds when he died, down from the 187 pounds he weighed at the time he was released from acute care in 2011.

Hogan says there is no excuse for the man's lack of care, as he could have received medical assistance through veteran services. He also earned a pension from his years working as a U.S. Postal service employee.

O'Brien also allegedly used his power of attorney to transfer $30,000 from his father's bank account to accounts of his own, the DA said.

A preliminary hearing is set for May 11.

Read more from NBC10.