September 24, 2003
Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
BALTIMORE COUNTY CAREGIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO NEGLECT; LEFT CHARGES
ALONE WHILE HE ATTENDED CLASS
General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Chinonso Ndidi
Ogbonna, a former residential counselor at L.I.F.E., Inc. in Baltimore
County pleaded guilty to three counts of neglect of a vulnerable
adult for leaving three developmentally disabled adults alone while
he attended college classes.Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts of the Circuit
Court for Baltimore County sentenced Ogbonna to six months incarceration.
She also ordered Ogbonna to refrain from providing care to vulnerable
individuals and further placed him on three years supervised probation.
Ogbonna, 22, of the 30 block of Heraldry Court in Baltimore County,
was a paid caregiver for three developmentally disabled men who
reside in a group home. According to the Statement of Facts, beginning
in September 2002, Ogbonna would clock in at L.I.F.E., sign out
a van or car and drive the three men in his care to the Community
College of Baltimore County, where he attended evening classes.
Once there, he left them alone in the cafeteria and went to class
in a different building.
On October 3, 2002, security personnel were called to one of the
buildings at the college and found two of the developmentally disabled
adults from L.I.F.E., Inc. fighting with each other. One of the
men complained of head pain from having his head struck on the floor,
and a paramedic was called. When Ogbonna was found he was adamant
that the victim did not need to be transported to a hospital and
refused to give the security officer the name of his employer. Security
personnel told Ogbonna not to bring the men back to the campus.
On December 4, 2002, a maintenance technician found the three developmentally
disabled men unattended in the cafeteria. One of the men was found
frightened and crying, and another was screaming. Baltimore County
Police were called and a search team found Ogbonna coming out of
a rest room in a different building.
case was prosecuted by Attorney General Curran's Medicaid Fraud
Control Unit, which has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute
abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults in facilities that receive