Port Arthur man indicted after mother’s death

Published 12:09 am Friday, March 20, 2020

BEAUMONT — Alan Ray Hartzel, whose elderly mother was living in unsanitary conditions and deemed dehydrated and malnourished before her death, has been indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury for injury to the elderly.

Hartzel, 46, was the sole caregiver for his mother, Jean Gordon Hartzel, 74, at their home in the 2900 block of Fifth Street when he called 911 on Feb. 21.

EMS immediately called the Port Arthur Police Department who investigated, according to the arrest warrant for Alan Hartzel.

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The woman was still alive when EMS got to her and was taken to a local hospital where he died. They described the woman as being in a poor living condition and her bed was “severely unsanitary with feces and other unknown bodily fluids saturated into the bed.”

While at the hospital police noted what appeared to be an extreme open bed sore as well as her being unresponsive. Nurses told police the woman had a type of bed sore caused by prolonged periods without medical care.

An emergency room physician said the woman was suffering from severe dehydration and malnutrition caused by several weeks of neglect.

Alan Roy Hartzel is facing the charge of injury to the elderly, which is a first-degree felony. He remains jailed on a $500,000 bond.

An indictment is not a final conviction of guilt; it is only a ruling by the grand jury that allows the district attorney’s office to proceed with a criminal case.