Former SNF worker charged with murder in resident death

A former Illinois nursing home employee was charged on Tuesday in the murder of a resident.

Claude Shinall, 25, allegedly beat and choked 79-year-old resident Gene Farnsworth at Marigold Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Galesburg, IL, after Farnsworth repeatedly fell out of his bed last October. Farnsworth had severe bruising to his nose and neck that signified that he had been choked, according to authorities. Shinall's title at the facility is unclear.

Farnsworth was taken to the hospital where he allegedly identified Shinall as his attacker. Farnsworth died last November, but authorities waited for autopsy results before charging Shinall with murder, the Galesburg Register-Mail reports. Shinall was originally charged with aggravated battery of a senior citizen.

On Tuesday, Shinall was charged with four counts of first-degree murder, which each carry a possible sentence of 20 to 60 years in prison, as well as two counts of second-degree murder, which each carry a four- to 14-year sentence. He also received one charge of involuntary manslaughter.

A spokeswoman for Petersen Health Care, which operates Marigold Rehabilitation, had not returned a call for comment by press time Tuesday.

When Shinall was first charged in November, Julie Hearst, director of census development for Petersen, told the Register-Mail he had been an employee for less than a year and was hired using typical state procedures. Shinall no longer works at the facility.