Nursing home death defendant gets life

Nursing home death defendant gets life
Diana Jacobs in court. (Source: WALB)
Diana Jacobs in court. (Source: WALB)

WAYCROSS, GA (WALB) - James Jacobs was originally charged in 2014, with financial fraud in connection to the death of Alexander Hunter, whose body was found buried behind Rosewood Manor Nursing Home in Nicholls.

Jacobs pled guilty Monday, and heard his sentence Tuesday in court.

Judge J. Kelly Brooks sentenced him to life in prison for murder, and 10 years to serve, for concealing a death.  Both sentences will run at the same time, according to Waycross Assistant District Attorney Ian Sansot.

Officials said that James Jacobs told his son that the victim was 'nearly dead,' and that he smothered Hunter with a pillow.

Diana Jacobs, his wife, will serve 10 years for concealing a death, and 20 years for exploitation of an elder/disabled adult. Both sentences are to be served concurrently.

"Most cases have more work to do after an arrest," said District Attorney George Barnhill.

"This is one of the heaviest investigations after an arrest I've seen.  Without those pushing the case behind the scenes, we may never have known what happened to Mr. Hunter.  It's also a shame how little oversight and accountability there is in our state for personal care homes.  I hope our legislature takes a serious look into this issue," Barnhill said.

The D. A. thanked Investigators Jamie Hersey and Chad Lott, Sheriff Doyle Wooten, and the Coffee County Sheriff's Office, and the GBI.

Charges against the Jacobs' son Coy are being dismissed.  Charges against Diana's mother, Helen Malphus, relating to documents submitted to the Department of Community Health, are still pending.

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