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.
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