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Stevensville man accused of negligent homicide in grandmother's death

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Posted at 5:33 PM, Jun 19, 2024

HAMILTON — A Stevensville man has been charged with several felonies — including negligent homicide — following the death of his grandmother.

Prosecutors say that 35-year-old Scott James Kreutzer did not provide food or medical services for 80-year-old Caroline Kreutzer who died in February of 2024.

Court documents state that Scott Kreutzer and his 58-year-old mother Michelle Schaeffer had lived with the victim for several years prior to her death.

Prosecutors say Caroline Kreutzer had fallen and fractured her vertebrae and against medical advice, Scott Kreutzer took her back home.

Caroline Kreutzer “remained essentially bedridden because of a fear of falling again” and Scott Kreutzer became her full-time caregiver court documents state.

Emergency crews were called to the Kreutzer’s residence, described a single-wide mobile home with one bedroom, after another daughter of the victim called 9-1-1.

First responders told investigators that Caroline Kreutzer couldn’t move and had what are described as “egregious” bedsores and was lying in her own excrement.

Caroline Kreutzer was taken to a Missoula hospital where court documents state a doctor diagnosed her as being “extremely malnourished” and in need of a blood transfusion.

The physician also stated it appeared that Caroline Kreutzer had been “in a setting of that seems to be severe neglect.”

Caroline Kreutzer died the following day.

An autopsy performed by the Montana State Medical Examiner determined that in addition to the bedsores, Caroline Kreutzer was malnourished and dehydrated at the time of her death.

Prosecutors say in court documents that an investigation determined that Scott Kreutzer had “not sought any medical care, assistance or intervention” for Caroline Kreutzer.

Scott Kreutzer told investigators that Caroline Kreutzer had stopped eating and that he noticed a bedsore on her leg. He also said he changed the victim’s diaper daily.

Scott Kreutzer further told a Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office deputy that “for 19 months I took perfect care of her,” according to court documents, and stated, “I wasn’t like neglecting her, not changing her.”

Prosecutors say Scott Kreutzer admitted that while his grandmother received $1,400 a month but stated that he didn’t keep Caroline Kreutzer at home so that she would continue receiving the money.

Scott Kreutzer was arrested Wednesday and is being held on $250,000 bail.