COLORADO SPRINGS — Colorado Springs Police say criminal charges have been filed against three employees of the Union Printers Home long-term care facility after a 90-year-old woman was found frozen to death outside.
On February 3, around 11 a.m. officers found Margarita Sam, 90, lying on a bench on the long-term care facility’s property located at 101 South Union Boulevard. CSPD’s Crimes Against At-Risk Adults Unit conducted the subsequent death investigation.
The El Paso County Coroner’s Office determined that Margarita Sam had died of hypothermia. Police reported that Sam wandered outside the facility and became exposed to temperatures in the range of 23-30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Following an investigation by CSPD and the Colorado Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, the criminal charges were filed on September 29 against three employees of the Union Printers Home long-term care facility related to Sam’s death.
- Nurse Rosalie Warren, 52, was charged with negligent death of an at-risk person.
- Certified Nursing Assistant Asia Murray, 35, was charged with neglect of an at-risk person.
- Certified Nursing Assistant Taquenis Eldridge, 31, was charged with neglect of an at-risk person.
According to court documents, all suspects have been served summonses and await upcoming court dates. The case will be prosecuted in the 4th Judicial District by the Attorney General’s Office.
The three employees are expected to be in court in early November.
McDivitt Law Firm was hired by the victim’s family and is looking into Sam’s death. David McDivitt says they are looking into institutional failures as well.
“The whole situation is ugly but at the same time we are encouraged the authorities are taking it seriously,” said McDivitt. “If we can have the authorities and the regulatory entities take this kind of stuff seriously and hopefully the owners of these facilities will take it more seriously and implement the right policies and procedures that will save people’s lives.”
McDivitt said his law firm constantly gets calls of loved ones mistreated in similar institutions across the state and in many situations, he says it’s facilities failing to provide care in order to save on cash.
“There are plenty of fantastic facilities out there this isn’t an indictment of every nursing home out there but there are bad apples , there people putting profits over people,” said McDivitt.
According to McDivitt, the Sam family was relieved to hear of the charges filed against employees and said it was a long time coming.
Rosalie Warren’s Attorney Andrew Bryant told FOX21 News no comment when asked for a comment in regards to this case.