It has been almost five years since a Massachusetts woman, who is now age 102, was charged with allegedly murdering the roommate she lived with in a Massachusetts nursing home, who was 100 years old. Laura Lundquist was accused of second-degree murder back when she was age 98 and the charges against her are still pending today.
Lundquist, who was diagnosed as having dementia, was found to be too incompetent to stand trial after she was accused of allegedly strangling Elizabeth Barrow to death. The murdered woman was discovered in her bed having a plastic grocery bag tied around her head. Since that time, the oldest murder suspect in the history of Massachusetts has been detained at a psychiatric hospital. Prosecutors have stated that they do not believe the case will ever reach the trail stage but in case it would, Lundquist’s murder charge must stay on the courthouse books.
Mrs. Barrow’s son, Scott, explained that he never pressed for Lundquist to be put on trial. He stated that to do so would be like attempting to prosecute a toddler. It was an awful thing that happened but how could she be held accountable when she is not even in her right mind?
After Lundquist was accused of Barrow’s murder back in 2009, Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter explained that prosecutors decided to go after the charge of murder in the second-degree because they did not think the 98-year-old Lundquist had the mental ability to formulate any type of premeditation, which has to be proven in a murder in the first-degree case.
A spokesperson for Attorney Sutter admitted the case was still an open one. The representative explained that Ms. Lundquist had been consistently been called too incompetent to go before a jury, and that is unlikely to ever change. However Massachusetts high court is updated on her competency every three months and if her capability to stand trial was to ever change, the matter would move ahead in the court system.
Scott Barrow filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the nursing home and its owners back in 2012; a judge sided in favor of the nursing home and stated there was no negligence found. The Massachusetts Appeals Court heard points of view in the case in April of this year but no decision is expected to be made about whether or not the case can go to trial.
In her paranoid state, Lundquist thought that Barrow was attempting to take over the room they shared at the nursing home. Sutter explained that after she was charged. Lundquist supposedly said she told Barrow she would going to get the other woman’s bed by the window very soon because she was going to outlive her.
Scott Barrow declared that he had asked staff at the nursing home to separate his mother and Lundquist, but they had told him the two women were getting along. He said his mother had not wanted to leave the room because she had shared it with her husband up until her died in 2007.
After Lundquist was arrested, Scott Picone, who then worked as the nursing home’s chief of operations, had stated that the two women had been offered room changes two different times in the months leading up to Barrow’s death but both had declined. He stated that the two women were sociable toward one another and many times had said either “I love you” or “goodnight.”
It has been almost five years since a Massachusetts woman, who is now age 102, was charged with killing the roommate she lived with in a Massachusetts nursing home, who was 100 years old.
By Kimberly Ruble