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Ex-council candidate charged with abusing 87-year-old mother | News

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Ex-council candidate charged with abusing 87-year-old mother

BETHESDA, Md. (WUSA9) -- A Bethesda man who was once a Montgomery County Council candidate for District 1 is accused of seriously injuring and abusing his 87-year-old mother.

At about 3 a.m. Friday, Montgomery County fire personnel responded to a home on the 6000 block of Beech Avenue shared by James Kirkland, 57, and his mother for a report of a sick patient.

While the woman was being transported to the hospital, paramedics noticed she had signs of neglect and abuse.

When she got to the hospital, medical personnel found the woman had wounds on her backside and legs that were packed with newspaper and a powdery substance. When the newspaper was removed, the victim's spine was visible.

The victim also had compression socks surgically removed because they had become fused to her feet.

Kirkland told WUSA9's Bruce Leshan: "End of life issues are tough for all families. I did the best I could."

A number of neighbors said Kirkland is mentally unstable. The Montgomery County Republican Party disavowed his council run after he emailed about a Jewish conspiracy to turn Bethesda into a "nerd free zone."

Investigators learned that the woman was Kirkland's mother and that he was her primary caretaker.

Detectives returned to the home on Beech Avenue and located Kirkland. They found the home was not maintained, and brought Kirkland to the police station for questioning. At the station, he told police he was the primary caretaker for his mother.

Kirkland was charged with causing abuse that resulted in injury to his mother, who is a vulnerable adult, and causing abuse to his mother in his role as a caregiver. He has been released on bond.

Kirkland's mother remains in the hospital in very serious condition.