Three nurses arrested after unsealed video reveals they ignored resident's pleas

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After four years, nurses charged in man's death
After four years, nurses charged in man's death

Three nursing home employees accused of ignoring the pleas of a World War II veteran in respiratory distress have been charged in his 2014 death, a Georgia prosecutor announced this week.

A grand jury indicted Loyce Pickquet Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles and Mable Turman four years after James Dempsey was found dead in his room at the Northeast Atlanta Rehabilitation Center, DeKalb County district attorney spokeswoman Yvette Jones said in a statement.

“Video surveillance shows the patient suffering in respiratory distress and repeatedly calling out for help,” Jones said. “Soon after his distress calls, the victim became unresponsive.”

Agyeman, Nuckles and Turman were on duty and caring for Dempsey, 89, on the day of his death in February 2014.

In a statement, the facility noted leadership had changed and improved since Dempsey died, according to CBS News.

The family settled a lawsuit against the facility, using as evidence video from a camera they'd hidden in Dempsey's room. The video shows the man repeatedly calling for help, saying he can't breathe. It also shows the nurses laughing as they try to start an oxygen machine.

Two of the nurses later lost their licenses after a television station persuaded courts to unseal that video. Atlanta affiliate WXIA-TV said the nurses didn't surrender their licenses until this September, after it sent the Georgia Board of Nursing a link to the video. The nursing home had fought for three years to keep it sealed, according to the television station.

Agyeman, a former licensed nurse, is now charged with murder and neglect to an elder person, Jones said. Nuckles, also a former licensed nurse, is charged with depriving an elder person of essential services. Turman, a certified nurse assistant, was charged with neglect to an elder person. All of them face charges of concealing a death.

Jones said the lawsuit — and the video released in November — prompted law enforcement to open an investigation.