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Mother Defends Daughter Suspected in Biting Death

October 20, 2002|From Associated Press

The mother of a Modesto woman who police suspected bit her husband so many times that he eventually died is defending her daughter, saying frustration led to the attack.

Kelli Pratt's mother told the Modesto Bee that her daughter suffers from health problems, including cerebral palsy. Pratt's mother spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

Arthur Pratt, 65, died earlier this week, six days after he told police that his wife bit him about 20 times. He told investigators in a videotaped interview that his wife was angry that he was too weak to have sex, said police Det. Al Brocchini.

Officers called to the house reported that Arthur Pratt had lesions and sores all over his body, and at first believed they were all bites. An autopsy revealed only two bites -- both severe -- on his side and stomach.

The mother said her daughter was devoted to caring for Pratt. "She was well aware of the fact that her husband was ill, and she respected that," the mother said. "When I saw her today, she told me this definitely didn't happen over sex."

Pratt's mother said her daughter's health makes it difficult for her to take care of herself, and the burden of her husband's care ultimately became more than she could handle.

"Kelli maintains it happened over the fact she was so stressed out," the mother said. "While he was getting care, she was home fending for herself. She just didn't get the care she needed."

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