OTTAWA — A Putnam County grand jury indicted three people in connection with the January death of a Pandora nursing home resident.
Rachel R. Friesel, 36, of Pandora, and Destini M. Fenbert, 20, of Pandora, were each charged with one count involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony, in the death of 76-year-old Phyllis J. Campbell on Jan. 7 at Hilty Memorial Nursing Home.
Friesel and Fenbert are being charged with involuntary manslaughter because allegedly Campbell’s death was caused by their actions while committing the offenses of gross patient neglect and patient neglect, according to the grand jury indictment. They each also face one count of forgery for allegedly falsifying bed check documents, a fifth-degree felony; one count of gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count of patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor, for allegedly recklessly failing to provide treatment, care or service necessary for Campbell’s survival, which resulted in her death.
According to an investigation performed by the Ohio Department of Health, two nurse aides admitted to documenting bed checks at 2 and 4 a.m. as completed when they hadn’t been.
Megan E. Schnipke, 31, of Columbus Grove, was charged with one count of forgery, a fifth-degree felony, for allegedly forging bed check documentation; one count of gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor, and one count of patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor, for allegedly failing to provide Campbell with care.
According to the Ohio Department of Health, Campbell was a resident of the memory care unit. At 12:35 a.m. Jan. 7, she wandered through a propped-open door to the dining room and left the facility through a door to the courtyard. The door she exited had a system that should have triggered an alert, as Campbell wore a device. However, officials tested it later and found it didn’t always work when it passed sensors.
On April 16, Putnam County Prosecutor Gary Lammers filed a request with the Putnam County Common Pleas Court to have a special prosecutor from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office assigned to assist with the investigation. Debra Wehrle, senior assistant attorney general with the Ohio Attorney General’s office, was assigned to the case.
The arraignment for all three is scheduled for 10 a.m. May 16 at Putnam County Common Pleas Court.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362