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Auroran gets 3 years for neglect of mother

KevH. Robers/ phofrom Kane County State's Attorney's office

Kevin H. Roberson / photo from Kane County State's Attorney's office

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Updated: September 11, 2012 6:06AM

ST. CHARLES TOWNSHIP — Kevin Roberson knew his mother was in trouble. By October 2011, the 77-year-old woman hadn’t moved off a loveseat for a month. She had bugs in hair, feces in her clothes and decaying flesh on her leg.

But Kevin Roberson, who lived with his mother, said he was working a lot of hours and wasn’t comfortable bathing her. And he believed it was his sister’s responsibility.

On Thursday afternoon, Kane County Judge Clint Hull said Kevin Roberson’s excuses were nothing more than a lack of effort. Hull sentenced Roberson, 43, to three years in prison for neglecting his mother’s care.

“Mr. Roberson was able to care for his mother. He just chose not to,” Hull said. “The law does not allow a caregiver to bury their head in the sand... because it’s hard.”

Like his brother Alan Roberson and sister Connie Roberson, Kevin Roberson had pleaded guilty to criminal neglect of an elderly person. He was eligible for probation, but could have faced up to five years in prison. He will likely serve about a year of his sentence. He received credit for more than 300 days he has served in the Kane County Jail and is eligible for day-for-day sentencing, meaning he earns one day off his sentence for every day he serves with good behavior.

Kevin’s prison sentence could preview potential sentences for Alan and Connie Roberson, who were also in court Thursday and are scheduled to be sentenced as soon as Monday.

In 2011, police and paramedics were called to the Roberson home on Randall Road in Aurora for a report of a woman with sores. Police found Martha Roberson suffering from numerous sores, including a wound on her back that was deep enough that investigators could see bone. The woman’s leg had turned black and maggots were on it. The leg ended up with severe tissue damage that led to gangrene and the eventual amputation of part of the leg. Hull called the pictures of Martha Roberson’s condition “horrific and disturbing.”

Martha Roberson is now living in a DeKalb County nursing home.

Kevin, Alan and Connie Roberson all lived in their mother’s home. According to prosecutors, the three delayed calling police because they knew they would get in trouble and because Martha Roberson’s pension and Social Security paid the rent on their house.

In 2010, two Geneva sisters were convicted of criminal neglect in the death of their ailing mother. They were sentenced to probation.

But Kevin Roberson’s prison sentence and Hull’s harsh words mean Alan Roberson, 55, and Connie Roberson, 51, could face prison time.

Alan and Connie Roberson could make statements on Monday, asking for leniency from a judge who said “aging parents have to be cared for by their children.”

“It is our duty to care for the elderly,” Hull said. ‘This duty is a serious one... No matter how difficult that might be, it must be done.”

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