July 11, 2002
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
GROUP HOME EMPLOYEE CHARGED WITH NEGLECT AND RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a former residential
counselor of a group home for developmentally disabled individuals,
Shandell Nikki Matthews, has been charged with neglect of a vulnerable
adult and reckless endangerment in connection with a July 1, 2001
incident in which five severely retarded adults were left unattended
in a van in a parking garage at the City Place Mall in Silver Spring,
Maryland for at least 50 minutes.
31, of the 3800 block Regency Parkway in Suitland, was employed
by the Kennedy Institute, which operated the group home in Silver
Spring. She was charged by Criminal Information with five counts
of neglect of a vulnerable adult and five counts of reckless endangerment.
neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults by caregivers is a misdemeanor
punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a $10,000
fine. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor, punishable by not
more than five years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. A Criminal Information
is an accusation, and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven
case was prosecuted by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control
Unit, which has authority to prosecute abuse or neglect of vulnerable
adults in Medicaid-funded facilities.
General Curran is hosting a series of town hall meetings entitled
"Protecting the Elderly: How to Detect and Prevent Elder Abuse."
The next town hall meetings are scheduled for July 24 at Prince
George's Community College, and September 18 at Anne Arundel Community
College. To register or for more information, call 1 (866) 298-8245.