Joseph Taylor charged with assault, abuse of an elder or dependent adult. Cause of death not yet known

A suspect has been charged with battery and abuse of an elder or dependent adult in connection with an incident in February in Ford City involving a Taft woman who later died.

The Kern County Sheriff released more details Thursday about the incident in February, two months before the woman, Twila Michelle Rash, 53, died.

According to the KCSO, deputies from the Taft substation were called to a family dispute at a home on the 200 block of Pierce Street and found what was described as "an elderly woman" suffering from what appeared to be minor injuries.

Deputies arrested Joseph Taylor, 35, for assault with a deadly weapon and the abuse charge.

However it has not been determined if the incident and death are connected.

"It is unknown at this time if the death is related to the assault that occurred in February," the KCSO said. "The cause and manner of death will be determined by the Kern County Coroner's Office."

Taylor is now facing a felony count of abuse of an elder or dependent adult and a misdemeanor charge of battery.

He has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is scheduled to go on trial on April 29.

He is being held on $25,000 bail.

The victim died on April 16.

Anyone with information on the case is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at (661)861-3110 or the Secret Witness line at (661)322-4040.