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For Immediate Release
February 3, 2005
Media Contact:
Kevin Enright 410-576-6357

TWO CAREGIVERS PLEAD GUILTY TO NEGLECT OF A VULNERABLE ADULT

J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that two former caregivers of Chimes, Inc. pleaded guilty to neglect of a vulnerable adult and misdemeanor theft for leaving a developmentally disabled woman alone and unattended in a van while they went shoplifting at Nordstrom’s.

Baltimore County Circuit Court Judge Susan Souder sentenced Latosha Nicole Brooks, 22, of the 3800 block of Bonview Avenue and Terri Sha-Nae lee, 21, of the 3200 block of Lawnview Avenue to two years incarceration, with all but three months suspended for neglecting a vulnerable adult. Judge Souder also placed both defendants on probation for five years, ordered that the Defendants stay out of the direct care field and refrain from providing hands on care to vulnerable adults or children for five years, and that both defendants perform 100 hours community service. Judge Souder sentenced Brooks and Lee to one month incarceration for the misdemeanor theft count to run concurrent to the three month sentence.

According to the Statement of Facts, on June 29, 2004, Brooks and Lee were paid caregivers for a 61 year old developmentally disabled woman. The victim is confined to a wheelchair, requires 24 hour a day supervision, with two caregivers assigned during the waking hours. She also suffers from seizures and organic personality disorder, explosive type.

On the evening of June 29, 2004, Baltimore County police responded to a citizen complaint that a developmentally disabled woman was left unattended in a van in the parking garage at Towsontowne Center Mall. When the police arrived, they found the victim sitting in her wheelchair in the van. The temperature was in the 80’s. The victim was sweating profusely and was unable to provide the Officer with her name, age, or address and was unable to identify who her caregivers were.

Thirty minutes after the police arrived, Brooks and Lee returned to the van and told the police officer that they had only gone into Nordstrom’s for a few minutes to use the restroom. At this time, three Loss Prevention Officers from Nordstrom’s approached the van and advised the police that they had been following Brooks and Lee in connection with a shoplifting the two women had just committed. Video surveillance tapes established that Brooks and Lee were in the Nordstrom’s and left the victim alone for one hour while they shoplifted.

This case was prosecuted by Attorney General Curran’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit which is mandated to investigate and prosecute vulnerable adult abuse and neglect in facilities that receive Medicaid funds and in Assisted Living Units across the State.
 

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