Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 57° Cloudy
News >  Pacific NW

Roommates convicted in death of disabled woman

Associated Press

ASTORIA, Ore. – Two women were convicted of manslaughter in the death of their disabled roommate, who was left in her bedroom without food or medication.

Jurors on Friday found Theresa A. Beverage, 31, guilty of first-degree manslaughter and Nicole A. Harris, 34, guilty of second-degree manslaughter in the death of Sharon Wilks.

Wilks’ body was found Feb. 28, 2004, in her wheelchair at the bottom of a ravine behind her apartment.

Sentencing was set for Sept. 16. First-degree manslaughter carries a mandatory penalty of 10 years in prison, and secondary manslaughter carries a mandatory term of six years and three months.

Beverage also was found guilty on charges of abusing a corpse, and both women were found guilty on multiple charges of criminal mistreatment.

Beverage had confessed that she pushed Wilks, who was paralyzed from the chest down, into the ravine after finding her dead in her bedroom.

“I think my sister trusted them. All they would have had to do was pick up the phone and I’d still have my sister,” said Wilks’ sister, Pamela Shoop.

Wilks, who was 56 when she died, went to live with the two women in December 2003.

Clatsop County District Attorney Joshua Marquis said Beverage and Harris abandoned Wilks in her room in late January without food or medicine, then they traded her medication for cocaine and methamphetamines.

Wilks had serious bedsores and there were no traces of medication in her body.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox

Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.