Woman, 98, indicted in death of 100-year-old nursing home roommate

By Jason Kessler, CNN
A Massachusetts grand jury has indicted
a 98-year-old woman, accused of strangling
her 100-year-old nursing home roommate,
on a second-degree murder charge.

Prosecutors say Laura Lundquist killed
centenarian Elizabeth Barrow, a resident
of Brandon Woods Nursing Home in Dartmouth,
after the two women had an argument
over a table Lundquist had placed
at the foot of Barrow's bed.

Barrow was found dead September 24 with
a plastic shopping bag tied loosely around her head,
according the Bristol County district
attorney's office.
An autopsy indicated Barrow had been strangled.

Barrow complained that the table obstructed
her path to the bathroom, authorities said.
When a nurse's aide moved it, Lundquist
punched the aide and grumbled that
her roommate "might as well have
the whole room," prosecutors said.

District Attorney C. Samuel Sutter said
Barrow repeatedly complained that
Lundquist was making her life "a living hell"
in the weeks leading up to the woman's death, a
nd that Lundquist remarked that
she would outlive her roommate.

A nursing home spokesman said the facility twice
presented Barrow with the chance to change
either rooms or roommates, but
she declined each time.
He compared the pair to "sisters," saying
they took "daily walks together ...
ate lunch together every day,
and were heard at night saying,
'Good night, I love you,' to each other."

Lundquist's attorney, Carl Levin, contends
his client was not involved
in Barrow's death, saying,
"We maintain her innocence."

A superior court judge granted a motion
to send Lundquist to a state hospital
for a competency evaluation.
An arraignment will be held
only if Lundquist is found
competent to stand trial.

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