Wife and son in court – dementia patient starves to death in his bed


When Jürgen E. († 51) stood in a parking lot with his silo truck and no longer knew where he was, they initially thought of burnout. But then four years ago the long-time driver of the Knauf concrete works was diagnosed with progressive Alzheimer’s dementia. As with his mother and grandma.

Jürgen went into early retirement, his wife Ute (52) and son André (24) took care of home care. Four years later Jürgen E. was dead – starved to death in his own bed!

Since this week, the tragedy in the town of Taubertal (Bavaria) has been tried before the Würzburg district court. Prosecutor Dennis Peikert accuses mother and son of negligent homicide.

“If the victim had been presented to a doctor, his starvation could have been prevented,” the indictment said.

At the autopsy on August 13, 2017, the 1.78-meter man weighed only 34 kilos. Other relatives hadn’t seen him for a long time. “The house was like a black box, nobody came in,” says Jürgen E.’s brother-in-law (65) to BILD am SONNTAG. And further: “His son said: ‘Papa is not well’.”

When asked about her husband’s condition, the wife only replied: “If he doesn’t eat anything, I can’t make him do it.”


Jürgen E. († 51)

Jürgen E. († 51)Photo: private

At the trial date, mother and son only want to tell their version of things after the public has been closed. According to the prosecutor, there was an advance directive and a health power of attorney for both of them: “They had to answer for the weal and woe of the injured party,” said the prosecutor.

One and a half weeks before Jürgen Es death at the latest, his wife and son should have recognized the man’s life-threatening emaciation.


Wife and son in court: Dementia sufferer starves to death in his bed
Photo: BILD

The defense attorneys defend themselves against the indictment. The emaciation was due to illness and was irreversible. The wife was overwhelmed and felt abandoned. “They could not see that the limits of home care were exceeded,” says defense attorney Stephan Wegner. The accused son later adds: He felt heavily burdened and withdrew more and more from care.

Wife and son had the words printed on the obituary notice in a local newspaper: “When God saw that the way was too long, the breath was too heavy, he put his arm around you and said: ‘Come on, let’s go home.

Ute and André E. have now placed their own fate in the hands of the jury. They face up to four years in prison. The verdict is expected on July 8th.

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