Former SNF worker charged with reckless homicide in resident death

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A former skilled nursing facility employee in Indiana is facing charges including reckless homicide in the death of a resident, according to local reports.

Kathy J. Hess worked at Woodland Hills Care Center in Lawrenceburg and was fired shortly after the December death of 77-year-old resident Dionne Scalf.

The investigation by the Dearborn County Special Crimes Unit began when a witness said she saw Hess abusing the resident in a manner consistent with what a pathologist later determined was a broken vertebra.

Hess was charged with battery resulting in the death of an endangered adult, neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, and reckless homicide last week.

Deputy County prosecutor Aaron Negangard noted Scalf had been scheduled to be cremated.

“The investigators did an exceptional job investigating this case. The unusual chain of events clearly shows the hand of God in ensuring that she was not cremated and that justice was done,” Negangard said in a statement.

Woodland Hills, which has 100 beds, issued a statement to Cincinnati's WLWT-TV that said it was cooperating in the investigation and “will continue to remain committed to providing quality care to the residents on a daily basis.”

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