FORT WORTH — Lowesta Halliburton’s friends described her as a caring woman who would do anything for other people, including her children’s friends and her daughter’s Girl Scout leader.
But prosecutors said the North Richland Hills woman didn’t do much to help a bedridden 78-year-man who died last year of malnutrition, dehydration and pneumonia.
Halliburton, 44, was sentenced Friday to life in prison for causing the death of Richard Hoye, who died May 20, 2007, in the home he shared with Halliburton. She has been described as either his common-law wife or his adopted daughter.
She was convicted Oct. 30 of injury to the elderly in Hoye’s death. Her sentencing was delayed while court officials conducted a pre-sentencing investigation.
Visiting Judge Phillip Vick sentenced Halliburton after a 90-minute hearing in Criminal District Court No. 4. He considered the pre-sentencing report and evidence from the hearing.
One woman testified that Halliburton cared for her children for seven months while her mother was hospitalized. Other friends testified that Halliburton helped many people, including her daughter’s Girl Scout troop leader and her children’s friends.
Her defense attorney said Halliburton, who was neither a nurse nor a social worker, could not be expected to recognize Hoye’s deteriorating condition when Adult Protection Services employees left him in her care after four home visits in the four months before he died.
But prosecutors Rebecca McIntire and Jeff Hampton cited Halliburton’s 1986 burglary conviction and 1995 forgery and fraud convictions. She served probation on the 1986 case and two years in prison on the 1995 convictions.
McIntire introduced photos of Hoye lying in his own urine- and feces-soaked bed with insects crawling over him. A deputy medical examiner said Hoye was so malnourished that his body had eaten his muscle and was beginning to eat his internal organs for protein.
Halliburton must serve 30 years before being eligible for parole.