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Woman dies at personal care home; caregiver faces murder charges

COVINGTON — A mentally challenged adult died over the weekend and her caretaker faces murder charges, according to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Cornelius Richardson, 44, was arrested and charged with felony murder and abuse/neglect/exploitation of a disabled or elderly person. She was the woman’s caretaker at a personal care home that operated from a residence at 10140 Straphinge Trail.

“While in her care, the victim had been abused to the point that it resulted in her death,” NCSO Capt. Keith Crum said.

The dead woman is 47-year-old Susan Margaret Walter. Crum said she was the personal care home’s only client and required around-the-clock care.

“They had some type of contract to provide health care for this lady,” Crum said. “We received a call (Saturday, around 2:15 a.m.) that she wasn’t breathing. Deputies arrived, CID was called and the coroner was called. The lady had a number of bruises about her head, shoulders, her entire body really.”

Crum said the body was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab for an autopsy, and the preliminary results showed the death was a homicide by blunt force trauma.

“Investigators questioned the caregiver and enough information was gathered to make an arrest,” Crum said.

The investigation into the death is ongoing with investigators contacting additional witnesses and obtaining medical records, according to Crum.

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