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Lexington couple charged with death of adult son

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Nearly two months after a man was found dead inside of a Lexington motel room, his parents have been charged with murder.

Jerry Lakes and Peggy Whitlock did not want to talk to us from the Fayette County Detention Center, but their arrest citations paint a disturbing picture of what police say conditions were like inside that hotel room.

Emergency officials were called to the Knight's Inn back in March for a man who was unresponsive and appeared malnourished.

"For a full-grown man's size, he was incredibly underweight, less than one hundred pounds, you coul observe that he was skin and bones in some cases," said Lexington Police spokesperson Sherelle Roberts.

That man, 24-year-old Gerald Lakes, was pronounced dead shortly after. Police say he was developmentally disabled and his parents, Lakes and Whitlock, weren't taking adequate care of him and two other developmentally-disabled sons who weighed only 92 and 66 pounds. Lakes and Whitlock were arraigned today on murder charges.

"Due to a lack of care, a lack of general nutrition, due to lack of taking care of their day to day life needs, all of the totality of that led to death of Mr. Gerald lakes," said Roberts.

The two remaining sons were placed in the state's custody. After that, police say Lakes and Whitlock continued to use their sons' financial resources for their own personal gain. They've also been charged with neglect and exploitation.

"Sadly, when someone passes away from lack of care, that's a terrible thing. Thankfully that's not something we see often here in Lexington," said Roberts.

The judge ordered that Lakes and Whitlock have no contact with their two remaining sons. Police said the sons had gained more than nine pounds since the state gained custody.


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