A grand jury indicted two nurses and an aied on a number of charges Wednesday in the death of a World War II veteran who was seen on video calling for help in a hospital bed and gasping for air, WXIA-TV reported.
Hidden video of the nursing home room showed 89-year-old World War II veteran James Dempsey calling out for help six times while lying in a hospital bed and gasping for air at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation in 2014. The video was only recently released due to a lawsuit filed by the family and obtained by 11Alive.
Former licensed practical nurse Loyce Pickquet Agyeman is charged with felony murder and neglect to an elder person.
Wanda Nuckles, a nursing supervisor, is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services. And Mable Turman, a nursing assistant, is charged with neglect to an elder person.
All three women were indicted on a count of concealing the death of another, 11 Alive reported.
The Brookhaven Police Department launched a criminal investigation into Dempsey’s death after the release of the video.
Attorneys attempted to prevent the video from being released by asking a county judge to keep it secret. However, the judge ruled in favor of its release.
There are also six hours of video court deposition from a nursing supervisor describing the staff’s response to the incident. These answers were provided before the supervisor knew of the existence of the hidden camera. And the video shows a different story than what the supervisor described.
According to 11 Alive, staff found Dempsey unconscious at 5:28 a.m. but did not call 911 until 6:25 a.m.
Former nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles said in the deposition that she immediately and continually gave CPR to Dempsey from the time she entered the hospital room. However, after watching the hidden video footage – which shows her not administering CPR at all – her story changes.
Another nurse came into the room but failed to check any of Dempsey’s vital signs, 11 Alive reported. When nurses couldn’t get Dempsey’s oxygen machine operational, the nurses and Nuckles laughed.
11 Alive reported that it took 10 months for the nursing home to fire the nurses after being provided the video in November 2015. Nuckles and another nurse in the video surrendered their licenses in September.
Despite having a one-star rating on Medicare, the nursing home is still operational in Atlanta.