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500-Pound Woman's Caretakers Charged With Neglect

A 500-pound Chattanooga woman's caretakers are behind bars. Channel Three first told you about fifty-two-year old Peggie Johnson last month when Channel Three help highlight her need to install a larger door in her home. Now, Peggie's story takes a sad turn. Johnson's husband and her daughter are in jail.

Everyone was excited for Peggie when she got that new door, now she faces yet another challenge. Because Peggie is so heavy, she needs someone to take care of her twenty-four hours a day.

Police say Peggie's husband and daughter were neglecting her by not feeding her or keeping her clean. When those allegations came to light, police discovered an even more disgusting twist.

"No, I don't want to be neglected, I don't want to be sitting in my own urine, my own waste," Johnson said. At more than five-hundred pounds, Peggie Johnson relies on family and friends to care for her. "Charles and Mary both was doing it, but then they got arrested last night and I got nobody now, I'm just stuck here," she said.

Peggie says taking care of her can be a lot of work and her husband Charles, and daughter Mary may have just had enough. "I wish Charles wasn't in there, I wish Charles could come back and do like he's supposed to and help me get out of this bed like he promised and be here for me and help me," she said.

Charles Johnson and Mary Alice Nichols are charged with willful abuse, neglect and exploitation of an adult. "I depended on him a whole lot and no I don't want him in jail and I depended on him and I hate to know what happen, but the officer said he just wasn't going to keep letting it go on and on and on," Johnson said.

On top of the neglect, the two are charged with incest for apparently having sex, Peggie says that's the most painful part. "It's just sad and it hurts so bad for what's happened and what's been going on, and I really don't know the words to say," she said. Now, the news of the arrests, put a damper on Peggie's hopes for a new life. "I was so happy when my new door went in and Charles even helped work on the door and everything, and so I could have a new life and I could go out and do things and we can go places and that, and now this," she said.

Johnson and Nichols will both be in a Hamilton County court on Friday facing their two charges. If you're wondering what classifies incest, Tennessee state law says step-parents and even adopted parents can be charged with incest, even though they are not blood relatives.

Link (with video of interview)

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What a lot of people don't understand is that degree of obesity is characteristic of profound emotional disorders. I've had to do a lot of communications work for gastric bypass surgery, and mental issues are almost always involved. This person probably needs a good deal of social work in addition to basic caretaking.

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