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Posted: March 12, 2013 9:00 p.m.

Local caregiver charged with murder

Victim was disabled woman in her care

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Cornelius Richardson

A Covington woman has been charged with murder after the death of a mentally-challenged patient for whom she was the caretaker.

Cornelius Richardson Bethea, 44, faces charges of felony murder and abuse/neglect/exploitation of a disabled or elderly person. Richardson was the caretaker for the victim at a personal care home on Straphinge Trail. The victim, 47-year-old Susan Margaret Walter, was the personal care home’s only patient requiring constant care.

According to the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, a call came in around 2:15 a.m. Saturday, after Walter was found not breathing. When investigators arrived, they found the victim with bruises around her head and shoulders, as well as other areas of her body. Walter was sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for an autopsy. According to preliminary results, her death was caused by blunt force trauma.

The investigation into Walter’s death continues.

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