State v. M.K.P.

The New Jersey Appellate Division rejected the State’s argument that the defendant’s alleged assault of her elderly mother violated the neglect of an elderly person statute. A police officer observed bruising on the defendant’s mother’s left arm, right hand, and left cheekbone, as well as redness and swelling on her forehead. The defendant was subsequently arrested. At the trial, the defendant’s mother testified that the defendant caused the bruising by hitting her. A jury convicted the defendant of simple assault and neglect of an elder. The Appellate Division reversed the defendant’s conviction for neglect of an elder and held “that an assault – criminalized elsewhere in the criminal code – cannot constitute the neglect required by N.J.S.A. 2C:24-8(a).” The Court also reversed the defendant’s simple assault conviction because the trial court did not instruct the jury correctly.

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