By: CJ Cassidy
Wappapello, Mo. - Prosecutors charge an entire family in the death of 63-year-old Eula Mae Hendon, of Wayne County. Police say Hendon had a stroke a week to a couple of weeks before her death, but never made it to the hospital, even though she was living with her family.
Jose Cespedes says in hindsight, maybe his wife should have taken her mother to the hospital, but she may have just made a mistake. Holding several urns containing Hendon's ashes, he questions why she would keep them if she didn't care about her mother.
Theresa Cespedes faces second degree murder, felonious restraint and elder abuse charges. Her two sons and daughter face elder abuse charges, as well, after emergency responders found their grandmother dead in a chair at their home in January 2006.
An autopsy report also reveals Hendon was dehydrated and starving. Still Jose Cespedes has a different explanation. "She not like to eat a lot; she like to smoke a lot and drink coffee. That's why she's so skinny," he says.
Cespedes also claims his sons are mentally disabled and prays a court finds them innocent of the charges against them. Police say Theresa told them she didn't want to take care of her mother and children anymore; but her husband says she might have just been overwhelmed with everything.