Not guilty pleas entered in January death at Pandora nursing home

By J Swygart -

OTTAWA — Two women charged by a Putnam County grand jury for their roles in the death earlier this year of a resident of a Pandora nursing home pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the charges pending against them in Putnam County Common Pleas Court.

Rachel R. Friesel, 36, and Destini M. Fenbert, 20, both of Pandora, pleaded not guilty to single counts of involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felonies; forgery, felonies of the fifth degree; patient neglect, second-degree misdemeanors; and gross patient negligence, first-degree misdemeanors.

Friesel and Fenbert were employed as nursing aides at Hilty Memorial Nursing Home in Pandora and were charged in connection with the Jan. 7 death of resident Phyllis Campbell, whose body was found outside the facility in frigid temperatures.

According to an investigation performed by the Ohio Department of Health, Friesel and Fenbert admitted to falsely documenting bed checks at 2 and 4 a.m. on the day in question.

Both women were released on own-recognizance bonds and both will next appear in court on June 6 for pre-trial hearings.

Megan E. Schnipke, 31, of Columbus Grove, on Monday also entered pleas related to Campbell’s death. Schnipke pleaded not guilty to one count of forgery, a fifth-degree felony; one count of gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor; and one count of patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor.

She was released on an own-recognizance bond and will return to court on June 8 for a pre-trial hearing.

By J Swygart

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.

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