Personal Care Home Owner on Trial — (WTAJ Central PA)

SSRI Ed note: Resident of personal care home, on a number of meds including antidepressants, drinks, suffers magnification effect of drug/alcohol interaction, dies.

Original article no longer available

WTAJ Central PA

Reported by: Sean Dreher

Monday, Jul 14, 2008 @06:03pm EST

EBENSBURG, CAMBRIA COUNTY — Testimony is underway in the case of a former personal care home owner accused of doing nothing while one of his residents died.

John Anthony is charged with neglect and manslaughter for the December 2006 death of Gregory Hanks.

  • Several witnesses on the stand said Anthony ignored Hanks and let him die on the hallway floor instead of getting him the medical attention he needed.
  • Former resident Pamela Patton testified that on the night of December 21st, Hanks was out drinking.  She says when he came home he had trouble standing up, and he could barely make it up the stairs to his bedroom.
  • According to Patton, Hanks fell down as soon as he reached the top of the stairs.  Patton said she told Anthony what happened, but he said Hanks was just drunk and needed to sleep it off.
  • Patton said Hanks was breathing when she went to bed, but in the morning he was cold, clammy, and had no pulse.  Eventually Anthony called 911 but it was too late.
  • Also on the stand Monday was former deputy coroner Jim Zangaglia.  He told the jury he immediately had questions about Hanks’ death.  Zangalgia ruled the death a homicide, and determined that a mixture of drugs and alcohol were to blame.  He told the jury hanks had been dead for several hours before anyone called for help.
  • Hanks was taking a number of medications including painkillers and anti-depressants.  Monday morning his pharmacist testified that it would have been highly unlikely that the medications alone could have killed him.
  • The pathologist who performed the autopsy on Hanks said he likely would still be alive had he been taken to the hospital instead of left on the floor.
  • Testimony resumes Tuesday morning.