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Houston twins accused of letting mother die

Associated Press / April 13, 2011

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HOUSTON — Twin Houston men were charged yesterday with murdering their 89-year-old mother after police accused them of allowing her to die on the floor in their foyer after she fell. They allegedly let the decomposing, bug-infested corpse lie there for three months.

Edwin Larry Berndt and his brother, Edward Christian Berndt, both 48, were arrested Monday when police went to check on Sybil Berndt, after a neighbor called to say the elderly woman had not been seen since January.

Edwin Berndt answered the officer’s knocks and initially said “everyone was fine and there was no need for the police at their home,’’ according to court documents. The officer insisted she had to see Berndt’s mother and he let her into the house.

The home was in “deplorable condition and smelled terribly,’’ and the elderly Berndt was lying face down on the floor of the foyer, according to the documents.

The brothers told police their mother had fallen and died, and that they didn’t have enough money to bury her. They said they didn’t call police because they didn’t want to go to jail.

Police searched the home and found bank statements from JP Morgan Chase totaling about $700,000, according to court documents.

The court clerk says the brothers do not have an attorney yet.

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