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As previously reported, the Oconee County Sheriff’s Office received a call Dec. 27 for 63-year-old Arthur Stanton, now deceased, having difficulty breathing at home on Old Mars Hill Road.
An incident report reveals that Arthur was in the fetal position on sheets stained with “obviously dried feces” and that he was “extremely stiff.”
A sergeant noticed the large bed stain had the “appearance and odor of feces and urine” that soaked through the mattress and blankets with food stuck to them. Arthur’s son and primary caregiver, David Stanton, said he hadn’t bathed Arthur or changed his sheets in about two weeks. A trash bag on the bed contained sheets also stained with apparent feces and urine, according to the report.
David, who has been charged with murder for his father’s death, told deputies he’d cared for Arthur since September 2022. Oconee County Sheriff James Hale believed Arthur was diagnosed with early stages of dementia.
“My understanding was that [David] had said that he was planning on getting [Arthur] into a healthcare facility of some sort and then never did,” Hale said.
On Dec. 27, David was arrested at the scene for reckless conduct and neglect to a disabled adult, elder person or resident of a long-term care facility. Arthur died at the hospital Dec. 28, and David was charged with murder on Jan. 2. Another warrant was served on Jan. 2 to 61-year-old Sandra Dee Bass for neglect to a disabled adult, elder person or resident of a long-term care facility.
Hale said Bass is believed to be David’s girlfriend and was arrested later on a lesser charge because David was Arthur’s primary caregiver. Hale said that the District Attorney’s Office could decide to upgrade her charges later.
David is being held without bond while Bass was released Jan. 3 on $10,000 bond.
Hale said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation hasn’t completed Arthur’s autopsy, so the official cause of death is unknown.
“All he had to do was reach out to Adult Protective Services or somebody like that and ask for help, and he would have received it,” Hale said of David. “And the problem is that he didn’t do that and just allowed his dad to pretty much squander away and die.”
Bass was arrested by the Watkinsville Police Department in February 2023 for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, possession of tools for commission of a crime, felony purchase/possess/have under control synthetic cannabinoid, synthetic marijuana or K2, illegal possession of a controlled substance and/or marijuana and possession of a drug related object.