Clayton caretaker accused in freezing death to be prosecuted

A Clayton County judge found probable cause Tuesday to bring to trial a woman accused of allowing the man she was supposed to be caring for to freeze to death in January.

The judge found probable cause Tuesday to move forward with a death case against Dale El Smith, who is being held wihtout bond, Channel 2 Action News reports.

Dale El Smith, 73, was the caretaker for Arthur Pelham when he was found dead in January outside a Whaleys Lake Lane home near Jonesboro. She was arrested late last month and charged with cruelty to a person 65 years or older and felony murder, and remains in the Clayton County jail without bond.

The temperature outside that Jan. 6 day was in the 20s, and Pelham, 66, who is bipolar and schizophrenic, was outside waiting for an adult daycare van to pick him up, police said.

The van didn’t come because of the severe weather.

But for 10 hours, authorities said Smith watched TV inside, oblivious that Pelham was still out in the cold. A neighbor found him and called for help. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he died.

A bond hearing will be held for Smith at 8 a.m., Friday in Clayton County Superior Court, according to court officials.