- Associated Press - Friday, October 31, 2014

MOSCOW, Idaho (AP) - A judge has ruled there’s enough evidence to hold a trial for a northern Idaho couple accused of neglecting a 67-year-man in their care to such an extent he died of malnutrition or starvation.

Twenty-four-year-old Charles Wright and 21-year-old Lindsey Winter are charged with abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, exploitation of a vulnerable adult and fraudulently obtaining welfare or public assistance.

Latah County Magistrate John C. Judge on Thursday bound the two over for trial in 2nd District Court following a probable cause hearing.

Lee O. Pohrman died Nov. 3 at the Gritman Medical Center. An autopsy listed malnutrition and starvation as the cause. Earlier on Nov. 3, emergency responders arrived at the residence of Wright and Winter on a report of an unconscious man, and found Wright doing chest compressions on Pohrman.

“Pohrman was very skinny,” Moscow police officer Shane Keen testified. Pohrman was “completely nude, except for an adult diaper he was wearing.”

Keen said Pohrman’s room had an overwhelming stench of ammonia, with stains on the floor, bed and bed cover. He described the conditions as deplorable with used food and drink containers and general garbage scattered about.

“It was difficult to walk through there without stepping on an item that was on the floor,” Keen said.

Francis Spain, Pohrman’s primary care provider at Moscow Family Medicine between January 2009 and April 2011, said Pohrman weighed a healthy 162 pounds when he saw him in April 2013. Pohrman weighed 97 pounds when he died.

Spain said Pohrman had been living at Good Samaritan Village, a senior living and care center, where he received 24-hour treatment. Spain said Pohrman, due to a stroke, was paralyzed partially on his left side. He also suffered from various ailments, including chronic high blood pressure, bipolar affective disorder and a neurogenic bladder condition.

Spain said Pohrman moved out of the assisted care facility and into the care of Wright and Winter against medical recommendations.

Authorities said Wright and Winter received over $40,450 in checks over 33 months as payment to care for Pohrman, more than the $13,200 that would have been expected under the $400 per month fee they were charging him.

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