Man charged with allowing wife to lie in her own waste to undergo mental testing

Ernest Clayton (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)
Ernest Clayton (source: Louisville Metro Department of Corrections)

Louisville, KY - By Matt McCutcheon – bio | email
Posted by Mike Dever - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The man accused of leaving his wife to rot in her own feces will undergo mental testing. Ernest Clayton Jr. is facing neglect and imprisonment charges.

Clayton, 59, called for help after his wife began complaining of excruciating back pain. When paramedics responded to their home in the 3500 block of Bank Street in Portland, they had to force their way into the bedroom because the door was blocked.

"They had to physically take the door off the hinges to get the victim out of the room," LMPD Officer John Fogle said on Feb. 10, the day authorities found the woman.

That's when they discovered Clayton's wife on a mattress covered in feces and urine.

"She had an adult diaper on that looked like it had several days worth of debris," Fogle said.

Neighbors say they're still trying to comprehend what was going on next door.

"He was really just mean to her," said neighbor Virginia Campbell.

On the day Clayton was arrested, Campbell told us she tried to report her concern for the 57-year-old woman to MetroCall last summer.

"I was out on the back deck and the window was open and I could hear him just cussing her out and telling her she was no good," Campbell said.

Detective Fogle says the couple had ongoing domestic problems and the wife tried to get a restraining order against him.

"She has filed EPOs in the past trying to get away from him," he said.

One was dropped when she couldn't show up for court.

Campbell says she offered the wife a bus ticket to leave town and go to her family.  However, knowing what she knows now, she wishes she could have done more.

"I wish I would have been a little more forceful about making sure what was going on over there," Campbell said.

Neighbors are still shocked at what was going on.

"I don't understand that at all.. to even treat her like that especially if she was an elderly person and she needed help and he was there to help her like that, why don her like that," Shawn Altizer said.

That's a question investigators are trying to figure out, with help from the court-ordered exam.

The woman has since been placed with Adult Protective Services.

Copyright 2011 WAVE News. All rights reserved.