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medicalserialkillers.kaiserpapers.org

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Caregiver Investigated In Patients' Deaths

LOS ANGELES (CBS)

Dameria Lawhorn, 51, has been charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine.

A local nurses assistant has been charged with drugging seven of her elderly patients. Three of them died. Police are now investigating to see if murder charges can be filed.

"My mom says to me, 'I've done my grieving. God took him.' God didn't take him, mom. Somebody killed him," Suzie Yarger said.

Yarger believes her uncle, 68-year-old Bill Elgersma, may have been murdered by his nurses assistant.

"His life was taken."

Elgersma passed away in May. At the time the family believed he had a stroke.

He had spent the last seven years as a stroke victim at the Inland Christian home in Ontario -- a convalescent home.

But just weeks ago, 51-year-old Dameria Lawhorn, a certified nurses assistant who worked there, was charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine. Three of them died, including Elgersma.

"They brought him to the hospital and he seized in the middle of the night. That is a horrible thing to go through," Yarger said.

Is Lawhorn an angel of mercy, putting people out of their misery? Ontario police and the coroner's office are still investigating.

All three victims were believed to have died of natural causes. Now they're taking a second look. But right now she is not charged with any murders.

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "At this point there is not enough evidence to support a murder charge."

David Goldstein: "Why?"

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "Because the patients that died; that evidence is gone."

Police were first alerted by paramedics, who were called to the scene because the patients were unresponsive. The three who died passed away at the hospital, days or, in one case, months later.

The four who survived were given a drug to treat morphine. That is when police started zeroing in on nurses and found that Lawhorn was on duty for all seven patients.

When they searched Lawhorn's locker, police say they found morphine. She denied sedating the seven, but police believe she did it to make the patients more cooperative.

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "It appears by sedating these victims her shift would be easier."

David Goldstein: "So she was giving them pills to make her job easier?"

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "It appears that way."

Lawhorn worked at Inland Christian for the past four years.

"This nursing assistant drugged seven patients. How does that happen?"

"There's no one available to speak with you at this time."

No one at the home wanted to speak about it. In a statement they said, "We are outraged and feel completely betrayed."

The same could be said of Suzie Yarger, who believes her uncle Bill could have lived a much longer life.
"No matter how ill he was, he was in convalescent care. He wasn't in ICU. He wasn't at that death's door by any means. To me, it's still murder."

Lawhorn was fired from Inland Christian when she was arrested. She is in jail on $350,000 bail. The coroner's office is investigating to see if any body will be exhumed.

( MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)






 

The Kaiser Papers A Patient Advocacy Web SiteIn Copyright Since September 11, 2000
This web site is in no manner affiliated with any Kaiser entity and the for profit Permanente
Permission is granted to mirror this web site -
Please acknowledge where the material was obtained.
Link for Translation of the Kaiser Papers 
PATHFINDER(search)  |   ABOUT US  |  CONTACT  MCRC

Custom Search

medicalserialkillers.kaiserpapers.org

Mirrored here for historical purposes from:

Caregiver Investigated In Patients' Deaths

LOS ANGELES (CBS)

Dameria Lawhorn, 51, has been charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine.

A local nurses assistant has been charged with drugging seven of her elderly patients. Three of them died. Police are now investigating to see if murder charges can be filed.

"My mom says to me, 'I've done my grieving. God took him.' God didn't take him, mom. Somebody killed him," Suzie Yarger said.

Yarger believes her uncle, 68-year-old Bill Elgersma, may have been murdered by his nurses assistant.

"His life was taken."

Elgersma passed away in May. At the time the family believed he had a stroke.

He had spent the last seven years as a stroke victim at the Inland Christian home in Ontario -- a convalescent home.

But just weeks ago, 51-year-old Dameria Lawhorn, a certified nurses assistant who worked there, was charged with seven counts of elder abuse for allegedly overdosing seven patients with morphine. Three of them died, including Elgersma.

"They brought him to the hospital and he seized in the middle of the night. That is a horrible thing to go through," Yarger said.

Is Lawhorn an angel of mercy, putting people out of their misery? Ontario police and the coroner's office are still investigating.

All three victims were believed to have died of natural causes. Now they're taking a second look. But right now she is not charged with any murders.

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "At this point there is not enough evidence to support a murder charge."

David Goldstein: "Why?"

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "Because the patients that died; that evidence is gone."

Police were first alerted by paramedics, who were called to the scene because the patients were unresponsive. The three who died passed away at the hospital, days or, in one case, months later.

The four who survived were given a drug to treat morphine. That is when police started zeroing in on nurses and found that Lawhorn was on duty for all seven patients.

When they searched Lawhorn's locker, police say they found morphine. She denied sedating the seven, but police believe she did it to make the patients more cooperative.

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "It appears by sedating these victims her shift would be easier."

David Goldstein: "So she was giving them pills to make her job easier?"

Detective Alfredo Parra, Ontario Police: "It appears that way."

Lawhorn worked at Inland Christian for the past four years.

"This nursing assistant drugged seven patients. How does that happen?"

"There's no one available to speak with you at this time."

No one at the home wanted to speak about it. In a statement they said, "We are outraged and feel completely betrayed."

The same could be said of Suzie Yarger, who believes her uncle Bill could have lived a much longer life.
"No matter how ill he was, he was in convalescent care. He wasn't in ICU. He wasn't at that death's door by any means. To me, it's still murder."

Lawhorn was fired from Inland Christian when she was arrested. She is in jail on $350,000 bail. The coroner's office is investigating to see if any body will be exhumed.

( MMIX, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)