Police: Dillsburg-area man with dementia abused by wife

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A Dillsburg-area woman allegedly hit and verbally abused her husband, who suffers from dementia, even though she was supposed to be caring for him, according to police.

Melody Ann Adams, 62, of the first block of Heatherwood Drive in Carroll Township, has not yet been arraigned on her first-degree misdemeanor charges of striking, shoving or kicking a care-dependent person and communicating in lewd, threatening or obscene language to a care-dependent person, according to court records.

Carroll Township Police filed charges against her on Monday, Jan. 13, records state, and her preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 10 before District Judge Richard Thomas. In misdemeanor cases, defendants often are arraigned and have bail set immediately prior to their preliminary hearings.

According to charging documents, Adams has been caring for her husband Terry Adams, who suffers from dementia but can still remember things.

On July 29, she took her husband to a Cumberland County hospital and told them she could no longer care for him and wanted him put in a home, documents state.

Went to Las Vegas? After leaving her husband at the hospital, Melody Adams went on vacation to Las Vegas with her sister and mother, according to documents.

Terry Adams was back in a local hospital on Sept. 30 and weighed 12 pounds less than he had when his adult son, Chad Adams, had previously seen him, documents state.

Chad Adams told police he believes Melody Adams — who has been married to Terry Adams for seven years — is physically and mentally abusing his father, and also believes she isn't properly feeding him, police said.

Chad Adams also reported seeing surveillance video from inside his father's home in which Melody Adams slapped Terry Adams in the arm or on his side because he needed help getting dressed, documents state. Police said they have that video.

In other videos viewed by police, Melody Adams called her ailing husband a "motherf—er" several times, and when he told her he had a headache, she responded by saying, "You already took Tylenol, suffer with it motherf—er," charging documents allege.

Threat made? Chad Adams also reported that he was on the phone with his father when he heard Melody Adams' brother tell Terry Adams, "Sit down or I'll sit you the f— down," because the brother wanted to watch something on television that Terry Adams didn't, police said.

There are three TVs in the house, according to police.

Detective Sgt. John Schreiner of Carroll Township Police noted in charging documents that he asked Melody Adams to speak with him about the abuse allegations, but on the day of their scheduled interview an attorney called police to say Melody Adams wouldn't be speaking with Schreiner.

The York County Area Agency on Aging is involved and has been working with Chad Adams, police said.

Melody Adams could not be reached for comment on Tuesday, Jan. 14. It is unclear who she has retained as an attorney.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.