Caregivers Heading to Trial for Murder

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SNYDERSVILLE -- A husband and wife learned Thursday they are heading to trial.

Police say the couple neglected an elderly woman they were supposed to care for and that woman died.

At a hearing Thursday morning, attorneys for the husband and wife from Saylorsburg say the couple did they best they could in caring for the 70-year-old woman.

But prosecutors say otherwise and showed gruesome pictures of the victim's body.

A magistrate ordered John and Tina Tedesco to stand trial for allegedly neglecting a 70-year-old woman and causing that woman's death.

"My husband and I are innocent," said Tina Tedesco.

But that's not what prosecutors believe.

At a hearing in Snydersville, prosecutors said that for 12 years the victim, Barbara Rabins, trusted the Tedescos to care for her.

But during that time, prosecutors say the couple took more than $4,000 each month from the victim's trust fund and social security.

Prosecutors say this couple ended up not caring for Rabins at all.tedesco murder mug

In court, Assistant District Attorney Mike Mancuso showed dozens of autopsy photographs of the victim covered in open, infected bedsores and her hands and fingernails covered in feces.

As Tina Tedesco was being escorted by state police, reporters asked: "What really happened? All the testimony points to the fact that you guys didn't change the diapers? You didn't care for her?"

Tina Tedesco responded, "Of course we changed a diaper."

The assistant district attorney says he believes Barbara Rabins died inside her apartment, more than a mile away from the Tedesco home.

Prosecutors then believe when the Tedescos found her, they took her body back to where they live, and then called 911.

The chief deputy coroner testified that when she got to the Tedesco home on that day in August 2011, she noticed a foul smell of decay coming from Rabins. She also testified she was "appalled" at the victim's condition during her autopsy.

The family of the accused is standing by their loved ones and gave Newswatch 16 a statement during the hearing:

"This is ridiculous. My sister and brother-in-law are innocent. To be a caregiver of someone and be accused of murder is nonsense. She (Barbara Rabins, the victim) passed of health problems she had, not murder."

The cause of Barbara Rabins' death is dehydration and choking on a piece of cheese.

John and Tina Tedesco are facing third degree murder charges, neglect of care for a dependent person, theft and other charges.

They're locked up in the Monroe County prison.