After almost five weeks of deliberations, an Auckland high court jury on Thursday found Malia Unalotokilakepa Li guilty of the manslaughter of her husband Lanitola Epenisa.
She is scheduled for sentencing next month. Li is remanded in custody to await the hearing.
The mother-of-two has been on trial after Epenisa died from the blood infection sepsis, after two strokes slowly ate away at his ability to walk and speak coherently and he developed pressure sores from immobility, the NZ Herald reported.
“He was found dead by emergency staff in a Māngere home, drenched in urine in a room with a bag of soiled clothes and a nest of mice”, the paper reported.
Li was charged with manslaughter for failing to provide her husband – deemed a vulnerable adult – with the appropriate medical care, hygiene, food and water between January and October 2016.
The Crown said Li left Lanitola Epenisa in a La-Z Boy chair, next to a nest of mice and piles of rubbish. Pressure sores on his buttocks became so deep they exposed muscle and bone.
The sores became infected from his faeces and urine and Epenisa died of blood poisoning on October 2, 2016.
Li’s legal team said their client had done all she could for her sick husband, whose health had deteriorated to such an extent that he could not fight off infection.