A Fall River, Massachusetts, man has been indicted for murdering his mother and neglecting his mentally disabled sisters, according to the Bristol Country District Attorney's Office.
Antonio M.Branco, 56, was charged with murder, assault and battery upon a person with a disability, and two counts of neglect of a person with a disability on Friday.
Maria Branco, 78, was admitted to St. Anne's Hospital on April 9, 2016 where doctors observed wounds to back, shoulders, buttocks, knees and ankles, according to Bristol County District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn III. The Bristol Elder Services were immediately contacted as were Fall River Police.
When police arrived to the victim's Holden Street home to investigate, they discovered that Maria Branco's two adult daughters with mental disabilities were locked inside. Authorities said the 56-year-old daughter appeared to have been beaten and her younger sister also had injuries, particularly to her hand. Both women were also transported to the hospital.
After the sisters were transported to the hospital, they told police that their brother was the one that caused their injuries.
Police said Maria Branco passed away from her injuries on April 13, 2016.
“This is a particularly disturbing case, a senseless, horrible death: a death that never should have happened. A death that shook hardened homicide investigators,” said Fall River Police Chief Daniel Racine. “We should cherish our elders, not do this. I commend the district attorney for his tenacity in prosecuting this case.”
Both sisters remain in poor condition.
Branco is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Fall River Superior Court.