March 10, 2005
BALTIMORE COUNTY CAREGIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO NEGLECTING
A VULNERABLE ADULT
Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Thomasina
Matthews, a caregiver at Progress Unlimited, Inc. in Baltimore
County pled guilty to one count of neglect of a vulnerable adult
for leaving a developmentally disabled adult alone and unattended
for several hours.
Judge John Turnbull, II, of the Circuit Court for Baltimore County
sentenced Matthews to three years supervised probation and ordered
the Defendant to refrain from providing care to vulnerable individuals
during her probation period. Judge Turnbull also ordered Matthews
to perform 120 hours of community service.
Matthews, 24, of the 3600 block of Eldorado Avenue in Baltimore
City, was a paid caregiver for a developmentally disabled woman.
According to the Statement of Facts, on December 23, 2003 and while
she was employed by Progress Unlimited, Matthews was the awake
overnight caregiver for Carole B., who was developmentally disable
and suffered from schizophrenia, episodic, and was never to be
left alone. At approximately 1:00 a.m. that morning, Carole awoke
and found herself alone in the house. She called another caregiver
at Progress Unlimited who immediately went to be with Carole, arriving
by 1:15 a.m.. Matthews did not return to the home until 4:00 a.m.
She did not call anyone to come and cover for her and did not call
any of the emergency numbers posted by Progress Unlimited. Matthews
was aware that Carole could not be left alone.
This 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