LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles prosecutors said Friday that they won’t file elder abuse charges against Casey Kasem’s widow despite efforts by three of the radio personality’s children to have her prosecuted.
A charge evaluation sheet released by the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Casey Kasem had received consistent medical care in his final days and that it wouldn’t be appropriate to charge Jean Kasem.
“Because of Mr. Kasem’s longstanding profound health issues, this case cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury,” the decision read.
Jean Kasem was married to the celebrity announcer for more than 30 years but was stripped of control over his medical care in the final days of his life.
Casey Kasem died in June 2014 in Washington state, where Jean Kasem had taken him after checking him out of a Los Angeles-area medical facility where he was receiving around-the-clock care.
The longtime “American Top 40” host had a form of dementia and a severe bedsore when he died.
Shortly before his death, Casey Kasem’s daughter Kerri Kasem was appointed as his conservator. She and his two other children from a previous marriage called for elder abuse charges against their stepmother at a news conference in January.
Los Angeles police looked into the allegations, but prosecutors declined to bring charges. “The development of a bedsore by itself is insufficient evidence of abuse or neglect because of Mr. Kasem’s overall weakened health,” the document stated.
Jean Kasem said her decision to move her husband to Washington was made to protect his privacy, the decision states.
Kerri Kasem said in a statement Friday she was upset by the decision and would seek charges against her stepmother in Washington state. “The Los Angeles County District Attorney, with her professed interest in ending elder abuse, could do more,” Kerri Kasem’s statement read.
A spokeswoman for Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey said the office wouldn’t have any comment beyond what was in the charge evaluation worksheet.
An email message sent to Jean Kasem’s attorney wasn’t returned Friday afternoon.
The announcer’s youngest daughter, from his marriage with Jean Kasem, however, has supported her mother in the family dispute.
Casey Kasem’s legacy reached well beyond music. His voice was heard as the character Shaggy in the “Scooby-Doo” TV cartoons and in numerous commercials.
His “American Top 40” began July 4, 1970, in Los Angeles, when the No. 1 song was Three Dog Night’s cover of Randy Newman’s “Mama Told Me Not to Come.”
In his signoff, Casey Kasem’s would tell viewers: “And don’t forget: Keep your feet on the ground, and keep reaching for the stars.”
Anthony McCartney can be reached at http://twitter.com/mccartneyAP
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