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Monday, Jun 25, 2018
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Bail reduced for woman accused in bed-ridden mother’s death

TAMPA — A judge Monday cut in half the bail requirements for two women accused of neglecting their bedridden mother to death.

Hyacinth and Belinda Winston had each been held since June in lieu of $100,000 bail in connection with the death of their mother, Mary, who had been bedridden for three years.

Circuit Judge Tom Barber reduced the requirement to $50,000 each.

Belinda Winston’s lawyer, Nick Matassini, said his client had no means to come up with the higher bail. “She’s got nothing of her own.”

Now that the bail amount has been halved, lawyers said, the family would work with bail bondsmen to attempt to raise the funds.

Authorities said Mary Winston, 66, was so neglected she had exposed ribs on her back from gaping bed sores, and maggots crawling out of her mouth. Her legs were fused together.

Assistant State Attorney Courtney Derry said Belinda Winston told investigators her mother had asked not to be taken to a hospital or away from her home. But Mary Winston was nonverbal and unable to make any requests, Derry said.

Although Belinda Winston lived in the home with her mother, Hyacinth Winston moved out in October 2010, according to her attorney, Briant Camereno. She also had a baby in January and was in no position to participate in her mother’s care, he said.

But Derry said Hyacinth Winston told law enforcement she was part of the group of caregivers for Mary Winston and participated in decision making.

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