One of the signs of a devolving society is a lack of respect for the elderly, and this story is just another tragic example of how we have strayed from basic human decency.
An Oklahoma woman is facing serious charges after allegedly providing her elderly mother, who suffered from dementia, with the gun she used to take her own life.
Jaye Dee Watts, 44, was arrested Tuesday on charges of felony murder by caretaker abuse and kidnapping for her role in the September death of her 72-year-old mother, Lynda Watts, according to KOCO-TV.
According to a bulletin put out by the Oklahoma City Police Department, Jaye Dee “intentionally provided a firearm to the victim which prompted the victim to take her own life.”
Jaye Dee said in her statements that Lynda had previously asked Jaye Dee to shoot her, but she refused.
However, later in the day, Jaye Dee allegedly retrieved a loaded handgun from her vehicle, showed her how to remove it from the holster, told her to “Do with it what you f***ing will,” and then left the room.
Jaye Dee Watts (shown here with an apt shirt reading “Dogs: Because People Suck”) is charged with giving her 72-year-old mother a handgun after berating her and saying “Do with it what you f***ing will, b—h.”
— Jonathan Turley (@JonathanTurley) November 24, 2023
A short time later, Jaye Dee reported hearing gunshots coming from her mother’s bedroom. She discovered Lynda dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. During police questioning, Jaye Dee admitted to providing the gun and making statements to her mother, encouraging her to use it.
Disturbing Ring video evidence from inside the home reportedly showed her mocking her mother’s dementia, telling her, “I’m raising a 72-year-old toddler” and to “take your pill or choke on it and die,” the news outlet reported.
Additional footage showed Jaye Dee working to lock Lynda inside her bedroom around the time the fatal gunshots rang out.
In text messages after the incident, Jaye Dee allegedly told an acquaintance, “We’re doing a cleanse,” and admitted that she had deliberately thrown the gun onto her mother’s bed and told Lynda “to do with it what she will,” KOCO reported.
She also told investigators, “It sucks being a 24-7 caregiver,” according to KWTV-DT.
The daughter voluntarily surrendered to authorities and has since posted a $1 million bond, the New York Post reported. She faces charges of second-degree felony murder by caretaker abuse and kidnapping in connection with her mother’s death.
Her booking photo shows her wearing a T-shirt with the message, “DOGS: Because People Suck.”
While Jaye Dee Watts is entitled to the presumption of innocence, if the police allegations prove factual, this case represents a rock bottom in the lack of respect, compassion, and duty we owe our elders, particularly those like Lynda Watts, whose minds betrayed them in later years through no fault of their own.
Not an acceptable way to treat a parent who brought her into the world, nurtured, housed, protected, fed, clothed, and educated her. She’s a pathetically poor example of a human being.
— Lucamooch (@njlpal26) November 24, 2023
We seem to have arrived at a point where a 72-year-old with dementia can be casually referred to as a “toddler” and made the victim of twisted virtual imprisonment and coercion by their own flesh and blood.
When an elderly parent suffering from the ravages of dementia comes to be seen as nothing more than a nuisance, it signals a wider societal failure to uphold dignity and compassion.
We have slipped into an abyss where elderly parents have gone from a place of respect and honor to being virtually imprisoned, tormented and even driven to suicide.