A 102-year-old dementia sufferer from Massachusetts who killed her 100-year-old room-mate is still facing a second-degree murder charge, five years after the crime was committed.
Laura Lundquist was 98 when she strangled Elizabeth Barrow to death at the Brandon Woods nursing home in Dartmouth – weeks after attempts were made to separate the pair.
She was charged with second-degree murder in 2009 after Barrow was found dead with a plastic bag on her head. There was no cognitive ability to form premeditation for the case to be classified as first-degree murder.
But Lundquist - the oldest murder defendant in the state's history - was never put on trial because of her health, so the murder charge still remains on the books.
Barrow's son, Scott, knew Lundquist would never be well enough to face court proceedings.
"It would be like prosecuting a two-year-old," he said. "It's just an awful thing that happened. How could she be held accountable for this when she's not in her right mind?"
However, he is hoping a lawsuit he filed against the nursing home's owners will be heard by a jury one day, even though an arbitrator found no evidence of negligence by the home in 2012.
Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter said Lundquist suffered from paranoia and thought Barrow "was taking over the room" they shared at the home. Lundquist threatened that she would soon get Barrow's bed by the window as she would outlive her.
Barrow had tried to separate his mother from Lundquist but nursing staff assured him the two were getting along. His mother never wanted to leave the room because she and her husband had lived there together until his death in 2007.
After Lundquist was charged, Scott Picone, the nursing home's chief of operations, said the two women had been offered the chance to change rooms twice in the months leading up to Barrow's death in September 2009, but both declined. He said the two women were on friendly terms and often told each other "goodnight" and "I love you".