A nursing home administrator who force-fed eggs to an 85-year-old patient, contributing to her later death, has been jailed for three years.
Alice Ramsey was sentenced for patient abuse and reckless homicide at a nursing home in Lake County, Ohio, according to local media reports.
She was initially charged with involuntary manslaughter.
The sentencing comes exactly one year after the victim, Mary Srpan, died following abuse at Hubbard Road Meadows nursing home in Madison.
The abuse was uncovered when visitors heard the patient making noises in her locked room on Jan. 3 last year. They alerted staff who unlocked the door to find Srpan’s head wedged in a nightstand, reported local newspaper The Star Beacon.
Paramedics took her to the Lake Health Madison Emergency Room.
“At the hospital, we learned that she also had a broken left upper arm and she was extremely dehydrated,” detective Thomas Doyle told the Beacon. Physicians also found bruises on her body.
Two weeks later on Jan. 17 Srpan died.
Doyle said the coroner later ruled Srpan died from pneumonia, “a result of her aspirating on the eggs.” According to reports, she had been force-fed the eggs along with her medication.
Srpan’s family is upset that Ramsey didn’t get a longer jail sentence, reported WOIO.
Ramsey was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter, facing a possible maximum sentence of 18-and-a-half years, according to the Beacon.
Before the trial began on Jan. 15 she struck a plea bargain, pleading guilty to the lesser charges of reckless homicide and patient abuse, which carry a theoretical maximum of four-and-a-half years.
During sentencing on Jan. 17 the judge told the court that a prison sentence was necessary to protect the public. He said that he doesn’t believe Ramsey should ever work in nursing again, reported WOIO.
When details of Srpan’s death and abuse emerged, friends and loved ones of other residents at the home approached police with complaints about the facility’s safety, reported the Beacon.
The nursing home, Hubbard Road Meadows, was closed on March 30 after officials revoked its licence, reported Cleveland.com.
The state investigation found that the home failed to carry out background checks on all employees, and had failed to notify authorities of at least four deaths and of multiple falls.