Trial begins for Washington man accused of letting father die

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) — The trial for a Clark County man accused of letting his elderly father die of malnutrition is set to begin.

The Columbian reports that 47-year-old Ronald Ahlquist is charged with domestic violence-related manslaughter and theft charges in the death of his father, 75-year-old Norman Ahlquist.

During opening statements, the defense says Norman Ahlquist died as a result of his rapidly deteriorating health, not neglect.

Prosecutors say Norman Ahlquist died in late 2013. His body was discovered in a van when Ronald Ahlquist asked a friend to help him transport him to the coroner's office.

According to autopsy results, the 75-year-old man died of malnutrition, but dementia and neglect were underlying contributors. He weighed 85 pounds at the time of the autopsy.