Caregiver gets life for mentally challenged woman’s beating death

A former caregiver was sentenced to life in prison without parole for the 2013 beating death of a mentally challenged woman, the Newton County District Attorney’s Office said today.

Cornelius Richardson-Bethea was convicted of malice murder and abuse of a disabled adult in the death of 47-year-old Susan Walter. For each conviction, Richardson-Bethea received life sentences without parole, according to Melanie Bell, chief assistant DA for Newton County.

In March 2013, deputies were called to Richardson-Bethea's home in the 10000 block of Strathinge Trail near Covington, where they found Walter beaten to death, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

“Deputies found the victim’s body with bruises all over … and around her head and shoulders,” a sheriff’s office spokeswoman previously said.

Walter was Richardson-Bethea’s only client, and there was no one else in the home when deputies arrived, authorities said. Walter’s death was ruled a homicide by blunt force trauma.

Richardson was arrested two days after police were called to the home.

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