Family members sentenced for starving dad to death

The Brichacek family (Source: WOIO)
The Brichacek family (Source: WOIO)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Euclid wife, along with her three adult children, were sentenced Wednesday morning in connection to the death of their 63-year-old husband and father.

Charges for Debora Brichacek and her children Wendi, Debbi, and Brian include involuntary manslaughter, attempted felonious assault, and failing to provide for a functionally impaired person.

Debora was sentenced to seven years in prison. The three children were sentenced to intense probation.

Police say Richard Brichacek, died Dec. 12, 2015. The man suffered from multiple sclerosis and relied on assistance from his family. Richard was found deceased in his bed, weighing only 93 pounds, with untreated sores and suffering from severe malnutrition. Starvation was one of the factors that led to his death.

Richard and Debora were married for 36 years.

Brichacek died in his home, unable to get out of his bed, covered with bedsores infested with maggots.  Prosecutors say his wife and three children simply refused to care for him.

By all account it was a gruesome death, given little food his weight fell from 122 pounds to 93 in a year.  Prosecutors quoted text messages from Debora to her son underscore her contempt reading

"He's screaming to get set up and no one can get the poor bastard up.  Oh well, like I've always said life's a bitch and then you die."

All Debora could say to the judge was:

"My hands was tied, what was I supposed to do."

"You did not provide him food, did not help him use the bathroom, give him medicine or provide any bit of comfort to the man who provided for you all of his life."

As tragic as the death of Richard Birchacek was, there was another scenario playing out behind the veil of brush hiding the family home from public view. A life of forced isolation.

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