Former caregiver gets six-month sentence after resident's freezing death

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Former caregiver gets six-month sentence after resident's freezing death
Former caregiver gets six-month sentence after resident's freezing death

A former caregiver at a Michigan assisted living and memory care community was sentenced to six months in prison Tuesday for her role in the death of a resident with dementia who froze to death after exiting the building.

Yahira Zamora, who worked at Crystal Springs Peace Harbor in Grand Rapids, MI, had pleaded no contest Sept. 20 to second-degree vulnerable adult abuse.  When announcing charges against the women in March, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said that on the night in question, Zamora reset an alarmed door without determining whether any residents had exited the facility.

Kathryn Brackett, 85, was last seen in her room at approximately 12:30 a.m. on Oct. 26, 2016, and her body was found in the community's courtyard the next day at 5:20 a.m., according to staff member interviews conducted by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

LARA's report, dated Dec. 6, 2016, referred to Brackett as “Resident A,” but she was named in a lawsuit against the community filed in January by Brackett's family. The lawsuit claims negligence and carelessness.

Zamora and Denise Filcek were working the overnight shift at Crystal Springs when the incident occurred, according to Schuette.

Filcek has pleaded guilty to one count of intentional inclusion of misleading or inaccurate information in a medical chart and is expected to be sentenced Nov. 28. Schuette had alleged that Filcek documented that she had performed the every-30-minute visual bed checks for which she was responsible when she had not done so for all residents. Brackett was one of the residents not checked on.

At the time the charges were announced, Schuette said each woman faced up to four years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine if found guilty.

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