Elderly woman taken from family, forced onto hospice

“They’ve Killed Her” – Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Dies under State Guardianship

By Terri LaPoint
August 29, 2019

“She’s gone.” The call came in Monday from Nancy Scott regarding her mother, Marian Leonard, who had been taken from her family and placed onto hospice care against her will. Nancy was in tears when she told me that her mother died on Saturday, August 24, but nobody bothered to notify her until Monday.

Marian Leonard died in a nursing home that she was forced into by a judge in early 2018. Last month, her court-appointed guardian Sidney Summey restricted her from having any visitors except a token hour and a half visit twice per month from her daughter – the woman that Mrs. Leonard had designated as her chosen power of attorney, not just once, but 3 different times over a 30 year period.

She died alone. No family or friends were permitted to be with her in her final weeks. The guardian had even taken her away from her roommate, whom Nancy viewed as her mother’s “guardian angel.”

Nancy, who has been fighting the court since custody of her mother was seized by the state, is devastated.

It’s like being in the middle of a horror story.

All her mother’s planning to ensure that she would live out her elderly years on her own terms vanished with the stroke of a judge’s pen, at the request of social workers from the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) and St. Vincent’s Hospital. The simplest request, that her only daughter be with her at the end, was denied.

Nancy’s voice cracked as she cried:

I couldn’t save her. I tried so hard to get her out of there.

Marian Leonard was known to her former English students as “Mrs. Gregory.” Yearbook photo provided by family.

See previous coverage of this story:

Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Forced into Hospice Against Her Will

Retired Schoolteacher Forced onto Hospice Forbidden to Have Visitors – Daughter Worried They Will Starve Her

Daughter of Retired Alabama Schoolteacher: “They’re Killing My Mother”

Under Judge Alan King, Marian Leonard was forced onto hospice care, though there was never any diagnosis of terminal illness. The only “diagnosis” was typed into the records by woman later convicted of felony Tenn-Care fraud.

Lisa Fuller apparently posed as a nursing home nurse, and ER nurse, and ambulance service worker, as evidenced by her signature on documents from all three in Tennessee. Her notes in the records sent to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, later obtained by Nancy Scott, are the only record stating that Mrs. Leonard had Alzheimers. Other medical records show that, just the year before, she had been pronounced by medical doctors to be free of any dementia or signs of Alzheimers.

“Murdered by Hospice”?

Since her mother was taken from her family, Nancy Scott has complained that her mother was being drugged. She was increasingly being given psychotropic drugs and strong pain-killers, against her previously stated wishes and against the wishes of her daughter, the person that she wanted to be in charge of her care. Yet, the strangers appointed to care for her ignored her pleas to see her daughter, to go home, and to get out of the nursing home. Why would they pay attention to her thoughts on being drugged?

Before being forced into Diversicare of Riverchase nursing home in Birmingham, Mrs. Leonard’s typical go-to medication for occasional flair-ups of arthritis pain was a single Tylenol. Recently, Nancy learned that hospice was giving her mother morphine.

We also learned through a source who asked to be unnamed that Mrs. Leonard was being given morphine much more frequently than every 6 hours. The source explained that dosage every 6 hours is what is given for pain, but when it is given more frequently than that, it is designed to be “part of the dying process.”

Marian Leonard, who was not dying, was being given drugs to “assist with the dying process.” The only “incurable condition” that Mrs. Leonard had was simple old age. She was 103. Nancy says that her mother’s age has been used many times by many people involved with her mother’s case to justify the treatment that her mother has received under state care.

See story:

Old Age Seen as Justification for Forcing Woman onto Hospice

Yet, in June, another 103-year-old retired schoolteacher set a record for the 50 meter dash in the National Senior Games in New Mexico.

See article by 10TV in Albuquerque:

103-year-old woman sets record in 50-meter dash at US Senior Games

Old age is not, and must not be, an acceptable reason to end a life. When a person who is not dying is drugged with morphine in dosages that are sufficient to “assist in the dying process,” what other term for this is there besides “murder”?

When Nancy called to tell me of her mother’s death, she made this chilling statement:

They’ve gotten by so far with literally committing murder.

Despite all of her daughter’s efforts to get her mother out of guardianship and hospice care, Marian Leonard died alone in a nursing home, forced onto drugs, isolated from loved ones. Photo by Real News Spark.

Are They Going After the Land?

Mrs. Leonard’s estate contains 300 acres of prime timberland in the wiregrass area of south Alabama. The property has been in the family for generations, and she wanted to ensure that it stays in the family. Several years ago, she deeded the land in a trust to her son and daughter.

Advocates for Marian Leonard have told Real News Spark that they fear that powerful people have been trying to get this land. Could this be what all of this has been about?

Funeral Arrangements

Marian Leonard’s funeral will be at 12:00 noon on Friday, August 30, at the Haleburg Baptist Church at 1239 Main St, Haleburg, AL. Visitation precedes the funeral, from 11 to 12.

In lieu of flowers, Marian Leonard’s wishes were that donations be made to the library which she loved – the Abbeville Memorial Library at 301 Kirkland Street, Abbeville, Alabama 36310. (Link to website).

49 thoughts on ““They’ve Killed Her” – Retired Alabama Schoolteacher Dies under State Guardianship

  1. It is so sad that this lady Marion Leonard was not permitted to live her life until it was her time and not be drugged into oblivion. It is unconscionable that a guardian was given jurisdiction over someone that had a daughter perfectly willing and able to care for her! And to limit the daughter’s access to be with her Mother during her last days and hours is totally inhumane! This acceptance of hospices overdosing patients with opioids and antipsychotics had become the norm. What a terrible state that human life is devalued that it is ok to hastened people’s death because they aren’t considered of value. I am sick at heart for this lady and her daughter Nancy. Sad times..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its disgusting that the state interfered with this woman’s quality of life . They basically murdered her and this is one of those states complain about the federal government interfering with the states.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. This was not fair,its sad that a state would do this to people.I didn’t understand why the state stepped iin.My mom had wishes to she didn’t want morphine when she was dieing she wanted to know who she was and we where. She got to the hospital before any of the family got there and she was given morphine and she passed about 45 mins. later.I can understand what you went through. If I was you I would get me a lawyer and try to do something about it so know other family would have to go through this. Also when you go on hospice you dont get anything but meds.you get nothing that will prolong your life.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What happened is unforgivable and criminal. The authorities that were allowed to do this without punishment, needs to be investigated and all they’ve done, spread all over American media. THE REAL STORY AND NAMES NEED TO BE PUBLISHED!!!!!!


    3. This is what happened to my husband. He was home tho & Home/Health nurse kept melting morphine tablets & putting in his mouth. I didn’t realize what was happening at first. Then it was too late!


        1. The use of drugs and other means to end life, is legal to the government. They stand by nursing homes, and other government run facilities. If the patient becomes a problem they retaliate and hurt the family by hurting their loved ones. In my sister’s case, her back was broken and she is in a wheelchair. I am sorry for the life of your Mother to end that way. The treatment patients get and the harm and control once they are in these places. Will only change when we stand together against legal murder of our loved ones in a NH. When the charges are brought against employee s responsible for hurting a helpless human being. They consider any reaction from a patient, as agression and they use mental facilities to do whatever they do to them. Then if they don’t behave , stop the problems, they use the “death shot”, and stop their lives. They ,which will be the same for us, will use these end life measure s to empty the bed. Space needed.


    4. How do they sleep at night!!!!!????? It’s incredible. It’s like this unfortunate women got stuck in a web of sociopathic god complex type medical professionals!
      If their not stopped, someone who is fed up with people’s egos causing good people real harm, they will do it themselves. Because while some try to stay composed, others have had enough!!!


  2. I am always stunned by the fact that even when these serial killers are exposed, they continue on with their deadly intentions. Of course…why not? It’s not like anyone is going to hold them accountable especially when the state itself is raking in a few million a year running this human harvesting machine.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The bible says life expectancy is up to 120 years .and regardless Hospice shouldnt be permitted unless the patient And personof power of attorney agree upon it Together. Hospice will always kill the patient by drug overdose.


    1. I’m so sorry for your loss I’ve always said hospice are legal murderers I saw them kill my mother in law and my father I didnt allow them to kill my sister in law or my husband !!!


    2. Just had our Mother murdered due to Hospital Hospice at St. Vincent’s. She had surgery and was going home on hospice. She was not even 1 full day out of bladder surgery and the dr. came in while she was waking up from one of the last many morphine shots they were giving her after surgery. He said she can’t go home now and will have to be on Hospital Hospice. We thought they would try to ween her off of the morphine as she recovered from the surgery, but every hour they gave her more frequent and larger doses of it. The dr. heard her hollering at shot time and said “I have to go out of town and we need to do something. He stated that she had to go on “Hospital Hospice”. After she died the hateful doctor told us the bladder cancer did not kill her. He said he did not know what was wrong. Maybe the overdose of MORPHINE. They started giving her the morphine and knew it would eventually kill her. She was 90 and that was the main point he made. She still would do small chores and other things. Her mind was very sharpe. It was all planned. Why did they never send her to an oncologist to help her with her cancer? I don’t even think she needed the surgery. Just a way to get her started on the morphine because they knew where they go with it!!! Like Marion, they murdered her. They euthanized her. They put her to death!!! So sorry for Marion Leonard and her daughter. I feel your Mother was murdered and it was because of her age they took her from you. We save younger drug addicts many times over who OD on morphine. Why do we kill the elderly with morphine because they are old. My Mom had an injury during a routine test and felt she was abused during that time. She was getting together legal papers to file against the Dr. within the group that all the specialists she saw were in. My family has been seeing the main doctor for 25 years. Nothing can describe his hateful attitude towards his staff, his patients his friends. I have heard this and witnessed this all. . He just has the attitude that old people should go. I am almost 70 and am feeling a complete turn-around of his medical opinion. I feel so responsible for insisting my Mother using him and will never forgive myself for what was done to her. I wonder what happened to the 300 acres.??


  4. So very sorry for this family’s loss! Absolutely disheartening at this tragedy that obviously did NOT have to happen! Hospice make think they’re getting away with this, however their is a God in Heaven they WILL have to stand before and give account for their horrible actions. This is so so SAD AND NEEDS TO BE addressed and stopped immediately, so that NOT one other person patient, or daughter has to ever go thru again!!! Such a Disgrace to our State! God have Mercy!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is CRIMINAL ACTIVITY and the people responsible for this outrageous “crime” needs to be held accountable and do time in prison! Also – this establishment should definitely be shut down “permanently” – for violation of HUMAN RIGHTS!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. man this really burns me up to be forced by a court to be put in a nursing home and not allowed to have visitors and her roomate taken away from her public guardianship ” I do have stupid public guardianship I do hope they do not do this to me “

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Likely to happen as not to happen if your with some kind of valuable property, or life insurance, etc…please, for your own sake, change your public guardianship now.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. I know you are heartbroken and I can’t imagine what you are going through. I pray that you will have peace sometime in this life. It’s awful the way the elderly are done and I pray you find a good lawyer that will take everyone involved be fired and that you can sue the state and break them over our elderly. We all want to be treated good when we go to a nursing home and we do not want anyone to interfere with our wills. God bless you in all you do and what you do for the elderly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My heart aches for the horrible ordeal the court system put you through. My heart aches for you mother knowing she was lonely, depressed and confused after you did the right thing by taking her to the hospital when she had a fever. I want to share with you a personal story. Mostly to let you know that this type of power and control by the courts and corrupt people happens far too often. My mother’s own sister filed an elder abuse case against me after my dad passed away and my mother, of her own free will, was living with me and my family. My mother was as happy as could possibly be as she was grieving and recovering as a newly widowed woman after 56 yrs of marriage to my amazing father…and we worshiped her at our home. Fortunately after the abuse complaint by my aunt, it was determined by authorities that the abuse claim was frivolous. My mother realized her sister was trying to be in control and get ahold of her small fortune (which truly is small and just enough to help her get by financially through her future). My mom was alarmed and while in denial she was able to clearly see her sister’s manipulation. After it was determined my mom was safe and happy, my aunt tried to recruit our family members against me and my family and it resulted in my mother and I stopped all contact with many family members after this happened. At the advice of our local police department a few days after the frivolous abuse report, we consulted an attorney and my mom agreed to file a motion to give me guardianship and be her conservator. It was explained that was the only way to keep my aunt from returning and trying to take her out of the state. They said if she leaves with her sister, there will be nothing anyone can do to help. I was already her full financial and medical POA (and had been for years, just like you). For a brief time my aunt had POA—-just long enough to survey my parent’s estate and then she worked on manipulating my mother. Her sister was malicious and would call my mother and make her cry and feel terrible. My aunt protested my mother’s decision to assign me as her guardian and because she lived out of state she was permitted to call into the hearing. My mom was able to speak for herself, had a long documented report from a licensed counselor who she met with several times after the frivolous claim and also her neurologist appeared for the hearing. My aunt knew she was out-smarted and her greed was exposed. During the hearing she got angry and told the judge she didn’t care about her sister anymore and was tired of dealing with her crap and promptly hung up! Under pressure my aunt showed her true colors. She even went as far as going to my mother’s house and stealing my mother’s inherited family heirlooms. Anyway, long story short, my mother has Parkinson’s and her illness has progressed. Thank God I have been able to be with her daily to provide her companionship, direct her care and placement in rehab and nursing facilities. The elderly nursing home situation is awful and caregivers and institutions are commonly rude and uncaring. I hired independent caregivers to be with her to basically babysit the nursing homes, but that is expensive and taxing. I am happy to say that 4 years later my mother lives very close to me and I have been able to visit with her multiple times a week (at least prior to Covid-19). She is no longer able to communicate, but she is always looking beautiful, healthy and it obvious she is being taken care is well. She is living in a caring residential home with amazing caregivers who are experience and do a great job. I am so fortunate my aunt didn’t take her away from me and my family. My dad and mother saved for their retirement and her little fortune is still available to pay the monthly cost of her special care, because we decided to go outside of what Medicare provides.


    1. They killed my Mom this same way in Jan a d she was in the nursing home not even a month and contracted Covid 19 and died alone and isolated’drugged and starved.


    2. It sad me too . Nurse homes are Murderer . They starve the patients and don’t give them water. Then come the deadly Shot. Its been going on for life. Don’t put your love one in there. And watch out for the social workers, they are in on the plot too


  9. I feel for the family. My family was also put into a similar position by Judge King and Sydney Summey. The courts and Summey did nothing to help my father’s children take care of him after he was abandoned by his second wife. My father died, not in his home in Jefferson County, but in a nursing home in Talladega. He was two hours away from his family and home town. It was a horrible experience dealing with the courts in Jefferson County. It was just a sad. Upon my father’s death we learned Judge King never signed his own order, Summey could not and did not follow through and nothing of my father’s assets were secured. It was a horrible experience.


  10. Reminds me of the new movie, I care alot.
    Everyone needs to see the movie. They are making money off of the elderly people. Taking everything they got and paying their salaries with it. And these judges need to be sued for what they are doing to all these people. Druging them up and killing innocent people against their will and their families will. This needs to stop.
    The family members have my DEEPEST SYMPATHIES and CONDOLENCES.


  11. I work in the medical profession and I recognize several things about this storyline that is in question. first is,St. Vincent hospital noted a problem and reported it to the proper authorities. They had to investigate the report and obtained information to have her removed from the family. I see neglect among the families often. And she stated her mother passed away in August and you had no knowledge. Which indicates that the person you loved dearly wasn’t checked on for seven months. The facility, I am sure have their best care.


    1. Please read the other articles cited of our coverage of this story. This did not happen at all as you describe. Ms. Leonard’s daughter checked on her frequently. The court-appointed guardian refused to allow her to see her, but she had other people checking on her until the guardian completely isolated her. She passed away on a Saturday in August. It was 2 days later, that Monday, that her daughter was told of her death. She fought hard for her mother.
      As to the facility having the best care, that is simply not the case. This reporter witnessed her deterioration and neglect. Others testified to it as well. Her roommate told me several times that the staff was not feeding Ms. Leonard. I saw bedsores on her foot only minutes after a wound nurse had been in the room stating that she had no wounds. Please see the original article – https://realnewsspark.com/2019/06/25/retired-alabama-schoolteacher-forced-into-hospice-against-her-will/


  12. I do not think an judge should have this power,over a family member,or over a power of attorney .i think he or any one else involved in this process,should be tried for Murder.lesley w.collins


  13. I would like to know why she was under the care of state in the first place. This typically means that family was either unfit or unwilling to care for her. If the daughter was so concerned, why wasn’t she guardian of her mother. Also, while some people defy odds and live healthy and active lives after 100, they are defying the odds. This woman was not granted guardianship and as such, was not entitled to information about her mother’s medical issues. Maybe there was underlying health issues that caused this woman significant pain. Maybe she had dementia and had lost the ability to swallow. There are way too many unanswered questions to jump to the conclusion that “They killed her.” That being said, I also know that there are a lot of crappy nursing homes out there, especially the ones that take Medicaid. While I do not rules it out that the nursing home was negligent, I think it more likely that this woman was declared unfit or even deemed to be an abuser and is now looking for pay back.


    1. Please read the other articles linked to in this article regarding Ms. Leonard’s story. Real News Spark investigated and reported a series of 5 articles about her story. They should answer all of your questions. They are good questions. Unfortunately, the answers to them show a disgusting lack of justice and due process in the system. Her daughter was her chosen Power of Attorney and mother and daughter were very close. There was a significant paper trail of Ms. Leonard’s wishes over the decades that Real News Spark investigated. Judge King simply set it all aside. She did not have dementia, as evidenced by extensive medical reports. A “diagnosis” of Alzheimer’s was fraudulently entered into the documents by someone who was later convicted of fraud on another case.


  14. Please contact me. I too, went thru the same with the exact nursing home. Can we work together to bring that corporation down


  15. That is awful. My heart goes out to the family still suffering not having had a chance to be with her in her final days. And it was totally unjust what they did destroying the woman in her final days for their greed. Hospice was actually a godsend for my mother. She was in such severe pain at the end from cáncer, morphine was the only thing that gave her relief. It was not hospice that directly went after this woman’s wealth. They were just doing their job but on the other hand they aught to know what Dying symptoms look like and the are to not give medicine unless the person needs it or asks fir it, and an organization is only as good as its members. Traditionally I feel hospice had done a great service to ease the pain of the passing. They were also helpful when my grandpa passed. Both he and my mother were able to be at home with family.


  16. I want to know about the woman who posed as her guardian. Apparently she had a history of fraud. Has she been arrested and charged?


  17. There must be a reason why guardianship was given by the courts to a third party. Was the daughter or family member accused of abuse, neglect, or misappropriation of the woman’s assets? Another point she was probably given an advance directive, such as a “ no code”, but not actually on hospice which is why there was no diagnosis. There is missing information here.


  18. This is the most horrible thing I’ve ever heard of. It sounds like it came from a third world country. We take care of our elderly, our parents. The people that perpetrated this should be tried for murder. That’s exactly what it was. Giving someone morphine because they’re old doesn’t get it. I am appalled and sickened. I am so sorry for your horrible loss. Try to easy in the fact that your Mom is now pain free and in heaven surrounded by angels and members of her family that have gone on before her. God bless her soul and God be with you as you try to overcome your sorrow.


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