Rochester man appears on manslaughter, criminal neglect charges

(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man is accused of criminal neglect in the death of his wife last year.

Scott Douglas Loven, 73, faces a charge of 2nd-degree manslaughter–culpable negligence creating unreasonable risk; and a charge of criminal neglect–knows/has reason to know deprivation will result in great or substantial bodily harm.

Both charges are felonies.

According to court documents, on May 8 of 2023, Rochester police responded to NW Rochester after a report that a woman had died in the bathtub.

When RPD arrived, an officer spoke to the woman’s pastor, who said he’d visited four days prior and Loven told him the woman had died.

A few days later, the pastor called the woman’s daughter, who did not know the woman had died and requested the paster check on her, according to court documents.

On May 8, the pastor returned and Loven allegedly said he had been “drinking since her death” and did not know when exactly the woman died.

Loven was a nurse, and the caretaker for his wife, according to court documents.

According to court documents, Loven told police that he had been drinking when the woman needed help getting to the bathroom.

Loven said he tried to pick the woman up and did not remember how she got into the bathtub, court documents allege.

Later, he told police she fell into the bathtub.

He remembered that she had a pulse and was breathing, but had an abrasion which he tried to treat.

Then he tried to move her into a better position in the bathtub, but told police he fell, according to court documents.

Loven also recalled the woman asking for help and to be taken to the hospital, he told police. However, he “was scared and didn’t know what to do, and he began to drink heavily,” according to court documents.

He did not recall exactly when the woman had died, according to court documents.

Loven was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Police noted that there was a working landline phone in the home.

According to court documents, on May 9, Loven told police that his 130-pound wife was “obese” and so he could not help her.

“Loven told (the) Victim that he did not want to put her in the car and drive her to the hospital to sit in the waiting room,” court documents read. “He said it was at that point that he knew she was not in a good way and was dying so he kept her in the bathtub. Loven said he did not think about calling anyone, including 911.”

The Medical Examiner’s Office listed the woman’s death as a homicide, and said her cause of death was gastrointestinal hemorrhage due to prolonged immobility due to multiple blunt force injuries, according to court documents.

The woman had suffered a right shoulder fracture, contusion to her right arm, contusion to her right eye, and scalp laceration “that extended to her underlying skull,” according to court documents.

Loven was not arrested at the time charges were filed in early February 2024.

He is scheduled to appear in Olmsted County Court again March 26.