Two nurses and one aide have now been indicted following the death of veteran James Dempsey who was filmed begging for help in a Georgia health center. James Dempsey, a World War II veteran, was 89 at the time of his death.
None of this information would have been made public if Dempsey’s family hadn’t stashed a hidden camera in his room where they collected footage of a nurse laughing and then later lying to the family’s attorney about the actions taken that night to keep him alive.
Dempsey’s death occurred during a night shift in 2014 and warrants have only now been issued for the three main suspects.
Indictments against the three women, announced late Tuesday, are as follows:
Former licensed practical nurse (LPN) Loyce Pickquet Agyeman has been charged with Felony Murder and Neglect to an Elder Person.
Former LPN Wanda Nuckles has been charged with Depriving an Elder Person of Essential Services.
Certified nurse assistant Mable Turman has been charged with Neglect to an Elder Person.
All three women are also facing a charge of Concealing the Death of Another.
Dempsey was from Woodstock, Georgia and his family has declined interviews with the press in part due to a settlement agreement that had been reached with the Center.
Lies About Dempsey’s Death
Dempsey was filmed calling for help. In the 2015 interview (below) with the Dempsey family lawyer, LPN Nuckles said that she had rushed to Dempsey’s side when she was alerted to the fact that he had stopped breathing. Nuckles claimed that she began to perform CPR and continued to do so until paramedics were called.
But, the video shows no such action. In reality, Nuckles was shown laughing.
The video shows that Dempsey had called for help six times before falling unconscious while struggling to breathe. Records from the Center show that he was unresponsive at 5:28am but 911 records show that paramedics were not called until 6:25am.
Nuckles was joined by another LPN who did not check for vitals and did not interfere on behalf of Dempsey.
When asked about the laughter, she refused to state that she remembered doing so.
Sava Senior Care
The events took place at Sava Senior Care, Northeast Atlanta Health & Rehabilitation Center. Right now their rating on Google is very low with many comments citing the James Dempsey case. One woman posted that her father died at the Center in 2012 and said that they didn’t even bother to cover her father’s body up when they wheeled him out of his room in full sight of the lunchtime cafeteria.
“I always had a very bad feeling that my Dad suffered in that hellish place, but I didn’t think people would ever let that happen until I just saw what happened to that poor veteran who suffered and called for help and no one helped him.”
Nuckles is a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) with a standard resume. According to court filings, she finished high school in 1974 and became an LPN in the state of Georgia in 1991. As a part of her license, she has passed re-certification for CPR every two years since 1991.
She started her job at the facility in question in August of 2009, and at the time of Dempsey’s death she was the unit coordinator for the night shift.
Documents published by the Georgia Board of Nursing contain the findings of an interview that took place in 2015, but the surrender by Nuckles of her license back to the Board did not happen until September 15, 2017.
History of Problems
According to Medicare records, the Center had received two dozen citations for serious violations that resulted in the withdrawal of at least one payment. The Center has been fined over $800,000 since 2015, but their most recent inspection showed improvements.
Plans for Prosecution
A trial date has not yet been set, but local police have praised the video footage and media coverage as “very instrumental” to the continuation of the probe. The case will be tried by the District Attorney’s Elder Abuse and Exploitation Unit.
Video Deposition of Wanda Nuckles from 2015
Here is a nine minute video from the full six hour deposition of Nuckles who was asked to watch the hidden camera footage and explain the actions of her and her staff in the early hours of February 27, 2014.
Sources: 11alive, Global News, Fox News