Grisly details revealed in Olathe mistreatment case where son is accused of murder in mom’s death


Raymond McManness’ mug shot from the Johnson County Detention Center.

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OLATHE, Kan. -- Officers who found a woman dead in an Olathe home late in January reported she was emaciated, had open bedsores and an autopsy found she weighed 58 pounds. Under a new Kansas statute on elder abuse, prosecutors charged victim Sharon McManness' son, Raymond T. McManness, with first-degree murder and mistreatment of a dependent adult.

Court papers say that Raymond McManness, 51, called police on January 23 to report his mother wasn't breathing. Emergency responders attempted CPR, but declared the 75-year-old woman dead shortly after arriving.

Investigators spoke at length with McManness, who said he lived with his mother for several years, but had moved out about six months before she died because she kept him awake at night. He said he checked on her twice a day, but couldn't provide any medical records and said she refused to be treated by doctors. He'd later elaborate that she had never been to a doctor and he didn't know her to have any medical conditions.

Officers noted several things about Sharon McManness and the condition of her home. Her mattress topper had fresh blood where she was found, and there was a deep indention at the foot of her bed consistent with someone sitting upright in the same spot for a long time. Investigators also noted that it appeared the mattress had recently been rotated, and was saturated with blood, urine, human feces and animal feces.

There was little to no food in the home, no working phones, the refrigerator was empty and turned off,  and there were no medications in the home. Investigators found soiled clothing that appeared to have been cut off of her and placed in a trash can, and found more dog feces throughout the home.

Raymond told investigators he was his mother's primary care giver, and they didn't have relatives except for Sharon's sister and her niece. He said he was solely responsible for giving her food, and said she had quit eating solid foods for a couple of weeks, so he tried to feed her soft foods, which was also a struggle.

He said she didn't want to go to a nursing home, but her health had been in decline. He said he didn't want to take her to a doctor to respect her wishes, but did visit the Department of Aging about her, who said she needed to get medical help. Raymond said he didn't get her medical help because he was busy during the holidays, and was scared because he hadn't been taking proper care of her.

He repeated that concern numerous times during a voluntary interview with police, and said it was his fault she died and that he should have taken her to a doctor.

Her preliminary cause of death was an infection from open bed sores. Investigators said she had a bedsore on her buttocks that was open to the bone, the autopsy determined she'd had it for 4-to-6 weeks. A doctor said she was malnourished, dehydrated, had bruising on her wrists, jaw and upper left part of her head, and an examination of her brain showed she had dementia.

Raymond McManness remains in jail on a $1 million bond, he's due in court for a hearing on March 13.

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