Los Angeles, CA — Last Friday, it was announced that Jean Casem would not face charges of elder abuse or criminal neglect in the death of her husband, Casey Kasem. According to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office, Kasem’s ill health in the months leading up to his death in July of last year would make it difficult to prove that abuse or neglect had played a role in ending his life.
Prosecutors released a lengthy document detailing the health struggles that plagued the well-known radio DJ and voice actor, and divided his family, in the final year of his life. Kasem’s second wife, Jean, and his daughters from his first marriage, Kerri and Julie, strongly disagreed on the best course of medical treatment for Kasem, who was suffering from Parkinson’s disease and dementia. In May of 2014, Jean Kasem checked Casey, who was wheelchair-bound, out of the hospital and hired outpatient medical professionals to see to his care.
On a trip to Las Vegas, Kasem’s nurse discovered that one of his bedsore’s had ruptured and Jean took him to Silverdale, Washington. That same month, Kerri Kasem filed a missing persons report and was awarded conservatorship that allowed her to make decisions about her father’s care. On June 1, Casey Kasem was admitted to a hospital where it was determined that continued treatment would only prolong his death. He died on July 15. Because Jean Kasem had provided for continuous medical supervision for her husband, prosecutors did not feel that they could prove that extraordinary neglect had taken place.
That’s actually an important point to remember when preparing a criminal defense. You don’t have to prove your innocence. It is the burden of prosecutors to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The job of a criminal defense attorney is to show the jury where areas of doubt exist in the prosecution’s case. They can do that by presenting evidence, bringing in their own experts to call the prosecution’s evidence, and of course by direct and cross examination of witnesses in court. The best thing that you can do when you’ve been charged with a crime in Orange County or anywhere else in Southern California is to hire legal representation.
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Winton, Richard. “Casey Kasem’s wife won’t face elder abuse charges, district attorney says.” http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-kasems-wife-with-abuse-20150522-story.html. Los Angeles Times. 22 May 2015.