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Nurse only gets 6 months for neglect that caused death

Published on September 7th, 2009

Chicago CBS had an article about the guilty plea and sentencing of a nurse that willfully neglected a resdient causing her death.  Heidi Leon entered a plea of guilty to one count of criminal neglect of a long-term care facility resident and one count of obstruction of justice. Judge Peter Dockery sentenced Leon, a Certified Nurse’s Assistant, to 180 days in the DuPage County Jail.

On February 5, at approximately 2 a.m., 89-year-old Sarah Wentworth, who had lived at the Arbor of Itasca nursing home for approximately three years, triggered an outside door alarm as she exited the nursing home. Upon hearing the alarm however, Leon turned off the alarm and continued watching television. Several hours later, Wentworth was found outside the facility and brought inside. Later that morning Wentworth passed away from exposure to extreme cold for an extended period of time.   Leon had also furnished false information to the Itasca Police Dept. in an attempt to derail their investigation.

"Heidi Leon’s failure to perform her duties cost Sarah Wentworth her life," DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett said. "Ms. Leon’s sole responsibility that night was to ensure that the residents at the facility were comfortable and cared for, not dying out in the cold."

 

Joe Pioletti
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