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For Immediate Release
February 26, 2004
Media Contact: 410-576-6357

BALTIMORE CAREGIVER CHARGED WITH MANSLAUGHTER, NEGLECT AFTER FATAL FIRE

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced today that a Baltimore City resident has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and neglecting several developmentally disabled adults in connection with a fire that occurred on March 6, 2003 at 3908 Noyes Circle in Randallstown.

Philip Jobes, 36, of Dundalk, Maryland, has been charged by the Grand Jury for Baltimore County in a 10-count indictment with manslaughter, neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first and second degree and reckless endangerment. On March 6, 2003, Jobes was a caregiver for three deaf individuals who, due to their developmental disabilities, were dependent on their caregivers for all of their activities of daily living. In addition, two of the individuals were also legally blind. In the early hours of March 6, a fire started in the apartment. As a direct result of the fire, two of the individuals, Delano Thomas and Nevalon Mitchell, died.

Jobes is charged with failing to provide necessary assistance and resources for the three adults under his care. The first two counts of the indictment charge Jobes with manslaughter of each of the decedents. The next two counts charge him with neglect in the first degree by failing to provide the required supervision of the two men who died. Counts Five, Six and Seven charge neglect of all three men in the second degree, which is neglect of a vulnerable adult regardless of injury. The final three counts charge reckless endangerment, related to all three men, and allege that Jobes engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to the victim.

While a criminal indictment is only an accusation and all persons are presumed innocent unless proven guilty, manslaughter is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail. Neglect of a vulnerable adult in the first degree is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in jail and fine of $10,000. Neglect of a vulnerable adult in the second degree is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, or both, on each count. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, or both, on each count.

The case is being prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office, which has authority to investigate and prosecute abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults. A trial date has not been set.

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