CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. — A man and woman from Pennsylvania have been charged in the death of her mother, who authorities allege was malnourished and beaten with a table leg.

Peter Shoemaker Jr., 34, and Lisa Nelson, 33, are charged in Fayette County with criminal homicide, conspiracy, aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangering in the death last year of Sally Nelson, 63, who lived with the couple and their three children.

Authorities say the older woman suffered a head injury in October and didn’t receive medical attention until the following day, when she was found unresponsive. She died in November at a hospital.

The victim was found to have pressure wounds and signs of blows to the head, neck and ribs that were in various stages of healing, police said in a criminal complaint. She also showed signs of “chronic severe malnourishment, chronic trauma to the body and severe head lice infestation,” which are consistent with elder abuse, according to the criminal complaint.

The criminal complaint said one of the children reported seeing Shoemaker hit Sally Nelson in the head with a table leg. The boy was overheard saying to him “You killed my grandma,” to which Shoemaker allegedly responded “You’ll understand one day,” the criminal complaint alleged.

The defendants were ordered held at Fayette County prison pending a Sept. 12 preliminary hearing. Court documents didn’t list an attorney for Shoemaker and a number listed in his name was no longer in service; Nelson was listed as being represented by the county public defender’s office, which couldn’t be reached Saturday.

VIAThe Associated Press
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