• Clayton Co. woman charged of making her mother live in deplorable conditions

    By: Tom Jones


    JONESBORO, Ga. - A daughter denies she ever abused her 86-year-old mother in her home.

    Jana Ragsdale, 65, went before a Clayton County Magistrate Court judge and heard she faces a charge of elder abuse.

    Judge Winston Bethel asked Ragsdale if she wanted a preliminary hearing where a judge could drop the charge or find probable cause to move the case forward.

    "Sir, I think I need it because it's false," Ragsdale responded.

    Clayton County police said Ragsdale had her mother living in a home on Deerfield Way in Rex with no running water or food.

    Officers said there was animal and human waste all over the house and they found cats everywhere in the home.

    Police also said the 86-year-old woman had obvious injuries.

    "She has many scars and untreated wounds on her arms and legs from falling down," Bethel said, reading from the warrant.

    "She lived her alone for years," said Rhonda Whiters. She has lived next door to Ragsdale for 15 years.

    She sympathizes with the trouble she's found herself in.

    "I feel bad for the mother and for my neighbor because she's really a nice lady," Whiters said.

    Whiters said Ragsdale's mother had been in a nursing home and recently moved back in.

    She said the home isn't the most sanitary place and she's seen more than 20 cats here. Still, she doesn't think Ragsdale meant to abuse her mother.

    "Well, these conditions already existed. It's just that she probably didn't have nowhere for her mother to go," Whiters said.

    The judge set bond at $20,000.

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