Local News

Abused by Husband Caretaker Alleged

(La Porte, IN) - A La Porte man is accused of physically striking and not taking proper care of his wheelchair-bound wife.  Jeffrey Hetzel, 50, is charged in La Porte Circuit Court with two counts of domestic battery and neglect of a dependent.


Authorities say Hetzel is accused of punching his wheelchair-bound wife across her face and body on November 14th at their home on Fox Street.  Hetzel, who was employed and paid as her caretaker, reportedly refused to help the woman replace her full colostomy bag that same day.  The woman rolled off her bed and remained on the floor for two days until discovered by a friend.


According to court documents, the woman was covered in feces and had injuries like swelling and possible broken ribs.  The police went on to state that his wife was taken to a hospital after being discovered and later discharged to a nursing home due to personal safety concerns.


Hetzel was being held in the La Porte County Jail without bond, having been previously placed on one-year probation several months ago for a conviction related to striking the woman, court records disclosed.


The suspect could face anywhere from a 2 to 12-year sentence on each of the three counts.

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