Update: The East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office on Feb. 16, 2016, dismissed all charges against Donna Laird.
The accusations range from hair-pulling and head-striking to false imprisonment and theft from the elderly.
Donna Sue Laird, 53, was arrested Thursday after her elderly mother told investigators that Laird physically abused her and kept her locked inside her house — the same home that arrest documents indicate Laird was trying to sell so she could buy her own larger house.
East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputies booked Laird, of Baton Rouge, into Parish Prison on Thursday on counts of false imprisonment, second-degree battery, exploitation of the infirmed, cruelty to the infirmed and other crimes against the elderly, booking records show.
Deputies went to the 73-year-old woman’s Baton Rouge home, where Laird also was living, on May 5 and were forced to pull her out through a window because she was locked inside, according to a warrant for Laird’s arrest.
The elderly woman later told investigators that Laird dragged her by the hair and pushed her on multiple occasions. Contusions on the woman’s head on May 6 had swelled to the size of a fist, the warrant says.
Members of the Office of Aging and Adult Services had previously responded to the home after receiving anonymous reports of elderly abuse at the home, the warrant says, but the outcome of the agency’s investigation wasn’t clear Thursday evening.
When initially contacted by deputies and asked to return to the Baton Rouge home, Laird told them she was too busy to do so. Laird later called back and said she was on her way to New Orleans, and when asked about arranging a sitter to care for her mother, Laird said she couldn’t afford one because she was saving up for a bigger house, the warrant says.
On May 8, Laird wrote herself a $600 check from her mother’s bank account, the warrant says.
A day earlier, a temporary restraining order was granted that forced Laird to stay away from her mother’s home without the presence of a sheriff’s deputy.
The order states that Laird at some point bought an “energetic and dangerous dog” that was not safe to keep around her mother. The order also states that Laird changed the locks to the home without telling any of her siblings, making it so that a key was needed to exit most doors of the home.
Only a back door was left unlocked from the inside. But even if the woman were to walk outside, she couldn’t leave the property because a locked gate on the driveway further prevented her from leaving, the order states.
That temporary restraining order was set to expire May 21, but it was extended to June 18 pending a court hearing.
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