Facility owner charged with first-degree murder in resident's death

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The operator of an unlicensed central Illinois nursing home has been indicted on first-degree murder charges. Bonnie Howard, the 55-year-old owner of Golden Senior Care in Chatham, was being held on $750,000 bond at the Sangamon County Jail after surrendering to authorities Thursday.

Resident Ann Jacobs, then 88, died April 13, 2001, after Howard deprived her of nutrition and liquids needed to keep her alive, authorities say. The indictment said, in part, that Howard "knowingly caused Ann Jacobs to be malnourished, dehydrated, gangrenous and septic."
Howard also was indicted in July on a reckless conduct charge in connection with violent crimes allegedly committed against Golden Senior Care residents. The facility's holding company and at least one other employee also were charged in cases involving alleged violence against residents. The 12-bed facility has been closed since July.