DA: Charges will not be filed in death of 78-year-old dementia patient
LANCASTER — Charges will not be filed in the death of a 78-year-old dementia patient at Oak Leaf Manor North in Landisville, the Lancaster County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release Friday.
The victim died on May 20, a week after she was allegedly pushed by a 79-year-old dementia patient at the care facility, the release says.
An investigation revealed that both women became involved in a conflict in a hallway outside of the victim’s room on May 13. The 79-year-old woman allegedly pushed the victim, which caused her to fall and strike her head on a door jam, the release states. She was transferred to the hospital and placed under hospice care.
The Lancaster County Coroner’s Office determined that the victim died of a subarachnoid hemorrhage (brain bleed), according to the release. Her death was ruled a homicide.
The matter was investigated by East Hempfield Township Police, in consultation with the DA’s office. Lancaster County Detectives also assisted in the investigation.
Investigators cited key factors in the determination not to file charges, the DA’s Office release adds. They include:
– Both women were dementia patients residing in the dementia ward of the facility, so the mental state and capacities of both women were considered.
– Specifically, it was determined the 79-year-old woman would not have been able to form criminal intent to injure or kill the 78-year-old woman at the time of the conflict.
– The interest of justice would not be served by criminal prosecution in this matter, considering the status of the 79-year-old woman.