PD: Man dies after 'tortured' by sister, brother-in-law

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by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Kristine Harrington

Posted on June 5, 2012 at 10:10 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jun 6 at 8:29 AM

PHOENIX -- Phoenix police said a 22-year-old man died after being abused and "tortured" by his sister and her husband.

Police detectives arrested Carlena Molina Pinkerton, 27, and Joshua Edward Pinkerton, 31, on Monday. They were charged with offenses related to vulnerable adult abuse and second-degree murder.

Police said they were the caregivers for James Roy Moore, who suffered from severe mental retardation and was on Social Security.

Officer James Holmes said the couple dropped Moore off at the Phoenix Indian Hospital on Friday in an unresponsive state. He was later transported to Banner Good Samaritan Hospital where he died.

Medical staff called police because of Moore's injuries, which included two black eyes, closed-head injuries, bruising and wounds all over his body, several fractures and a collapsed lung. He suffered acute renal failure due to dehydration, malnutrition and sepsis because the wounds were infected and had "flesh-eating bacteria." Moore also had a 1-inch-long object embedded in his throat, which was swollen and infected.

Holmes said the suspects denied any abuse and claimed they did not know how Moore's injuries occurred. 

Phoenix police detectives served a search warrant at the couple's home near Thomas Road and 55th Avenue and discovered a 2-by-4-foot room containing only a water heater and a drain. Holmes said evidence showed that Moore had been locked in this room for periods of time and there were indications of restraint.

Holmes said the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office found signs of ongoing "torture" from old scarring, old healed fractures and malnutrition issues. At the time of death, the victim was approximately 6 feet tall and 100 pounds.
 

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