Woman pleads guilty after landlord finds several elderly people living in her waste-filled basement

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A woman whose job was to protect elderly and disabled adults pleaded guilty to housing them in deplorable conditions.

A judge then sentenced her to six months in jail.

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“Your honor. All of this...it looks so bad,” 57-year-old Claudette Hines said to Clayton County Superior Court Judge Aaron Mason.

Hines pleaded with Judge Mason for mercy after she pleaded guilty to housing eight elderly and disabled adults in deplorable conditions in a Clayton County home on Walker Road.

“And whatever happened, it wasn’t intentional. None of it was intentional sir,” she explained.

Prosecutors say it was back in 2019 when the landlord called police after she found the basement where residents lived flooded with human waste and urine on the floor.

The state said residents, one as old as 82, had injuries from being bitten by bed bugs.

“Law enforcement observed bed bugs in the three of the residents’ beds,” said Assistant District Attorney Anyssa Williams.

Prosecutors said there was moldy food next to expired food and a trail of ants in a kitchen cabinet. They said residents weren’t allowed to use cell phones and rarely were allowed outside.

“Your honor, she is extremely remorseful,” said Hines’ attorney, The Fly Lawyer.

He said she wasn’t allowed to repair a broken septic tank as it was the landlord’s responsibility. He said the landlord called the police because she thought she would be blamed for the horrible conditions.

“Your honor we believe that 10 years’ probation is appropriate in this case,” he said.


The state asked for 10 years to serve three in prison. Judge Mason struggled with the appropriate punishment after listening to the evidence.

“It’s heartbreaking just to hear that,” he said about the evidence presented.

The judge then told Hines her punishment.

“It’s 10 years to serve 180 days,” he said.

Hines faced more than 200 years if the 11 counts in the indictment ran consecutively. But both sides admitted there were weaknesses in the case.

In particular, the state said the victims had died or were in nursing homes and unable to testify.

Hines can no longer work as a home healthcare provider, except for one person she has legal custody of.

She must also pay a $1000 fine, and do 100 hours of community service. She will be on probation for the balance of her sentence after she is released.

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