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  1. #1
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    BetteDavisEyes is offline "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."
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    MI - Vicki Balogh, 58, dies in her Trenton home, 23 Oct 2017

    Trenton brothers accused of leaving mother to die in their home appear in court
    Grant Balogh, Gabriel Balogh charged with homicide in mother's death


    By Shawn Ley - Reporter , Derick Hutchinson
    Posted: 6:51 PM, July 13, 2017

    TRENTON, Mich. - The case of Vicki Balogh and her sons, who are charged with her murder, is an incredibly complex case involving doctors and family members.

    The medical examiner said Balogh died of malnutrition due to her medical condition, but her manner of death has not been determined. Wayne County prosecutors charged her sons with murder.

    Officials said Balogh looked like a Holocaust victim after dying alone in her Trenton house. Her own sons, Grant and Gabriel Balogh, told police they were her caregivers, but they've been charged with her murder...

    http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/t...ppear-in-court

  2. #2
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    I just saw this yesterday as a headline in the local newspaper. This is such a tragic and complicated case, I believe. We had a neighbor who had ataxia and was in a wheelchair for years, unable to speak or move very much. Her daughter would often push her wheelchair to take her "for a walk". It was a very sad and heartbreaking existence. She died about three years ago.

    Here are some more articles and updates:


    http://www.monroenews.com/news/20170...-mothers-death
    She was diagnosed with and suffered from ataxia, sometimes known as wasting disease, the same illness that claimed the lives of her three brothers and mother.

    But the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office believed her two sons failed to provide her with the nourishment she needed and were grossly negligent in their care for her. So Grant C. Balogh, 33, and his brother,

    Gabriel V. Balogh, 31, have been charged with felony murder, second-degree vulnerable adult abuse and involuntary manslaughter.


    Supporters of the family said Mrs. Balogh knew she had the incurable, untreatable disease known as ataxia. In fact, she was well aware of ataxia, since it was the same genetic disease that took the lives of her mother, Carolyn, and her brothers, Brad, Bryan and Brent Masserant, all of Monroe.


    But when the brothers took her body to a hospital after she died, staff members were alarmed at the condition of her body. The Trenton Police Department conducted an investigation and in May of this year, the prosecutor’s office filed murder and abuse charges.

    Assistant Prosecutor Dominic DeGrazia argued in court this week that the brothers did not sufficiently care for their mother and failed to provide nutrients that could have prolonged her life.

    They argued that the disease was so far advanced that she was unable to eat food and her body could not absorb nutrients through other means.

    A preliminary examination was held this week in Woodhaven’s 33rd District Court before Judge Jennifer Coleman Hesson, who will later decide to dismiss charges or send the case to trial. The brothers, who are free after the family posted $200,000 bonds each, wore shirts and ties and dress pants.


    The defense called as a witness Jacqueline Thurmond, an adult protective services investigator, who checked on the Balogh’s home in Trenton as a referral three months before Mrs. Balogh died.

    Thurmond said on the stand that when she visited the home, there were no signs of abuse. She said the house had sufficient food and Mrs. Balogh told her she wanted to be with her sons during her final days.

    “I didn’t have any concerns for neglect,” Thurmond said on the stand. “Mrs. Balogh wanted to stay in the home. Mrs. Balogh was being well taken care of by her sons. Obviously the boys loved their mother.“

    The most contentious arguments during the hearing involved Dr. Lokman Sung, a Wayne County assistant medical examiner, who ruled that Balogh died of cachexia, or wasting syndrome, due to malnutrition.


    The defense attorneys argued that Balogh was malnourished because the ataxia prevented her body from absorbing nourishment. DeGrazia argued that the sons did not provide sufficient nourishment, which led to the malnutrition. Dr. Sung also ruled that the manner of death was not homicide, but rather indeterminate, or uncertain.

    The hearing was adjourned and is scheduled to continue on Sept. 18. At that time, Victor Masserant, 83, of Monroe, is expected to testify. Masserant is Mrs. Balogh’s father. He lost a wife and four children to ataxia in the span of 25 years.

    - - -

    http://www.monroenews.com/news/20170...asting-disease
    Mr. Masserant lost his first wife and all four of their children to Ataxia between 1991 and 2016.

    The disease that infiltrated and attacked the Masserant family is called spinocerebellar ataxia type 1, or SCA1. It is a neurological, progressive, degenerative illness where victims slowly lose the ability to walk, talk and to use fine motor skills.

    It sometimes is called wasting disease because muscle mass is lost due to forced inactivity and the inability to swallow. There is no cure or treatment. Symptoms typically develop after the age of 18 and could last 10 to 20 years before they become so severe that death is imminent. For three of the four Masserants who have died, the beginning of the end was age 29.

    His first wife, Carolyn, had the defective gene that traced back to her grandparents, who lost 7 of 11 children to the disease. Her symptoms began with a speech impediment and trouble with balance.

    Testing for the gene can be done but only after the age of 18. And if those who are tested want to know the results, they must travel to receive them and undergo counseling because knowing that you most likely will die one day from a terminal disease that slowly robs your body of basic functions is a burden many would rather not accept.

    http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/in..._murder_a.html
    Vickie Balogh, 57, of Trenton, died of malnutrition caused by cachexia, also known as wasting disease, on Oct. 23, according to Lisa Croff, a spokeswoman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.Trenton Police Detective Sgt. Tim Fox said Balogh suffered from ataxia, a brain disorder that affects a person's mobility similar to Parkinson's Disease.
    She was incapacitated and living with her two sons, Gabriel V. Balogh, 31, and Grant C. Balogh, 33, in their Trenton home.

    According to WDIV-TV, Channel 4 News, one of her sons drove her to the hospital seven hours or more after she died. She was extremely emaciated with bed sores all over her body.

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/...-in-their-home
    Medical officials said Balogh had been dead for at least seven hours. Hospital staff members and police officers said they saw the shocking condition the woman's body was in.
    They said her body was extremely emaciated, there were sores and lesions on her skin, her skeletal structure was visible through her skin and she was filthy



    one more article, basically all the same info is in above articles
    http://www.thenewsherald.com/news/sons-charged-with-homicide-after-allegedly-letting-their-vulnerable-ill/article_423635de-f524-5cdf-8d1d-1a613047eab0.html
    "At Websleuths we take pride in being a notch above the rest. " Harmony2, WS
    * *. * * *. *. *. *
    Justice for Julia Niswender, murdered 12/10/2012, unsolved
    Justice for Christopher Preston 9/7/2013 - 10/10/2014; LWOP for Joseph Adams
    Chelsea Bruck, missing 10/26/2014, found 4/24/2015 ; Daniel Clay-Guilty Felony Murder/concealing body 5/16/2017
    Find Eric Franks (40) Missing from Bridgeport, MI since March 2011


  3. #3
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    http://www.monroenews.com/news/20170...ainst-brothers

    A Woodhaven judge next month will decide whether a pair of brothers who are part of the Masserant family that has deep roots in Monroe County should stand trial on murder charges involving their mother who died of complications from a terminal, incurable disease.

    'They had a basic duty of ordinary care,” Assistant Prosecutor Dominic DeGrazia said in court this week. “Had she gotten medical attention, it could have extended her life.”

    'This poor woman wanted to die with dignity,” attorney William Winters III said in court. “There is no doubt she did not want invasive measures. She wanted to stay in her own house. This was certainly no evil act. ”

    In earlier testimony, Dr. Ljubisa J. Dragovic, chief forensic pathologist and medical examiner with Oakland County, testified that he reviewed the case and said the Masserant family was inflicted with an “unfortunate curse.”


    He said those suffering from the disease commonly have difficulty swallowing, which leads to weight loss. Although Balogh suffered from bed sores, Dragovic said they were healing and there was no infection. Again, he said, those suffering from SCA1 commonly have bed sores.
    “It’s one of those inevitable things that can happen when an individual is bedridden,” Drogovic said via television feed. “This is a terrible genetic curse.”
    He ruled the cause of death as bronchial pneumonia and the manner of death as natural. That was in contrast to the prosecution’s witness, Dr. Lokman Sung, a Wayne County assistant medical examiner, who ruled that Balogh died of cachexia, or wasting syndrome, due to malnutrition. Sung also ruled that the manner of death was not homicide, but rather indeterminate, or uncertain.
    Dr. Vikram Shakkottai, a neurologist with the University of Michigan and director of the ataxia clinic, testified that there is no cure or treatment for the disease and patients with advanced cases often choose to avoid heroic medical measures to keep them alive.
    “There is no advantage to admitting them to a hospital,” Shakkottai said on the stand.
    I personally am inclined to believe the sons did what they could for their mom. The whole family knew she was never going to improve, but would continue to decline. If she had trouble swallowing food, she probably had very little appetite.

    We had a neighbor with ataxia and watched her decline over @ 15 years. Her children would put her in a wheelchair and take her for walks, but she could not wave, speak, sat slumped. you never knew if she was happy or sad. And she was super thin. We did not know them well, but it appeared her husband took good care of her, and her children were there often to help, along with home-health-care aids.

    I gues my point is ... what kind of life is it to sit or lay constantly, no way to communicate, no use of hands or voice, not able to chew food or savor a milkshake or cup of coffee; just "being there" and for others to constantly be looking at you, maybe staring. The more I think about it, the more I realize I would be unlikely to want that kind of existence.
    "At Websleuths we take pride in being a notch above the rest. " Harmony2, WS
    * *. * * *. *. *. *
    Justice for Julia Niswender, murdered 12/10/2012, unsolved
    Justice for Christopher Preston 9/7/2013 - 10/10/2014; LWOP for Joseph Adams
    Chelsea Bruck, missing 10/26/2014, found 4/24/2015 ; Daniel Clay-Guilty Felony Murder/concealing body 5/16/2017
    Find Eric Franks (40) Missing from Bridgeport, MI since March 2011


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spellbound View Post
    http://www.monroenews.com/news/20170...ainst-brothers



    I personally am inclined to believe the sons did what they could for their mom. The whole family knew she was never going to improve, but would continue to decline. If she had trouble swallowing food, she probably had very little appetite.

    We had a neighbor with ataxia and watched her decline over @ 15 years. Her children would put her in a wheelchair and take her for walks, but she could not wave, speak, sat slumped. you never knew if she was happy or sad. And she was super thin. We did not know them well, but it appeared her husband took good care of her, and her children were there often to help, along with home-health-care aids.

    I gues my point is ... what kind of life is it to sit or lay constantly, no way to communicate, no use of hands or voice, not able to chew food or savor a milkshake or cup of coffee; just "being there" and for others to constantly be looking at you, maybe staring. The more I think about it, the more I realize I would be unlikely to want that kind of existence.
    The horrific bedsores worries me a bit.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer17 View Post
    The horrific bedsores worries me a bit.

    I can agree with that. however, we don't really know yet how severe they were, if they were a common occurrence, what her healing status was like. if she was always laying down, the bedsores are very common. patients need to be turned/rotated often, and soft padding is helpful. I need to know how long these particular bedsores were present and how they treated them before passing judgment.

    Young men may have felt uncomfortable treating bedsores on their mother, or did not check. however, I thought I read at one time that she had home care checking on her (not sure how often, and I could be mistaken). I do know that an article posted above stated three months earlier Protective Services had been there to check on her. Surely one of these would note if the sores were horrific...? For some reason, i iust don't see my son giving me baths or changing diapers as often as a daughter would....some will, for sure, but most?

    bedsores somewhat make me think of my diabetic neighbor.... if he got a sore on his leg it just exploded into a horrible mess and took forever (months) to heal. I imagine this lady had a poorly functioning immune system and if she got even one bedsores it was difficult to treat --- especially if she laid on it. They may not have given her high-quality care we think was appropriate, but they also may have done the best they could. They had been through this with other family members ... though maybe were too young to pay attention.
    "At Websleuths we take pride in being a notch above the rest. " Harmony2, WS
    * *. * * *. *. *. *
    Justice for Julia Niswender, murdered 12/10/2012, unsolved
    Justice for Christopher Preston 9/7/2013 - 10/10/2014; LWOP for Joseph Adams
    Chelsea Bruck, missing 10/26/2014, found 4/24/2015 ; Daniel Clay-Guilty Felony Murder/concealing body 5/16/2017
    Find Eric Franks (40) Missing from Bridgeport, MI since March 2011


  6. #6
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    I'm having trouble with the murder charges. Perhaps the burden was too much for their capabilities and they should've sought, no demanded, assistance. I don't see how that equates to murder.

  7. #7
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    Charges dismissed for brothers

    http://www.monroenews.com/news/20171...alogh-brothers
    — A judge dismissed murder and other charges against two adult brothers who were caring for their dying mother, who was afflicted with a terminal disease that had ravaged her family from Monroe.

    Since the uncurable disease is hereditary, the brothers have a 50-50 chance of having the ataxia gene. Victims typically exhibit symptoms in their late 20s or 30s and the disease progresses until death in the 40s or 50s. Grant said he and his brother will be tested to see if they have the same disease that killed their mother, their uncles, their grandmother and many other ancestors.


    "At Websleuths we take pride in being a notch above the rest. " Harmony2, WS
    * *. * * *. *. *. *
    Justice for Julia Niswender, murdered 12/10/2012, unsolved
    Justice for Christopher Preston 9/7/2013 - 10/10/2014; LWOP for Joseph Adams
    Chelsea Bruck, missing 10/26/2014, found 4/24/2015 ; Daniel Clay-Guilty Felony Murder/concealing body 5/16/2017
    Find Eric Franks (40) Missing from Bridgeport, MI since March 2011




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