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Woman pleads guilty in death of woman at assisted living facility

An investigation found that Hazel Place, who had dementia, was left alone outside in the heat for six hours.

DENVER — A caretaker pleaded guilty to neglect in the death of a nursing home patient who was left alone outside in the heat for six hours last summer.

Letticia Martinez, 28, pleaded guilty to neglect related to the death of  86-year-old Hazel Place, who was a resident of the Cappella Assisted Living and Memory Care facility in Grand Junction.

>The video above is a prior report about the death of Hazel Place.

Martinez was sentenced to three years probation, 100 hours of community service and 30 days in jail, according to the Colorado Attorney General's Office.

“This caretaker broke the trust of a vulnerable Coloradan in her care,” Weiser said. “Caregivers have a moral and legal responsibility to those under their supervision, and my office will continue holding accountable those complicit in such negligence.”

RELATED: 86-year-old woman dies at assisted living center, 3 caregivers charged

Family members also said due to her dementia diagnosis and her being a fall risk, she was supposed to be checked on every hour.

Credit: Photo courtesy of the family
Hazel Place

An investigation by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Colorado Department of Law and the Grand Junction Police Department found that Martinez, Jamie Johnston, 31, and Jenny Logan, 52, were responsible for the death of Place which occurred on June 14, 2021.

 Johnston and Logan’s cases are ongoing.

The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is dedicated to protecting the integrity of the system that provides healthcare to the most vulnerable Coloradans.

To report suspected Medicaid fraud or abuse, contact the Department of Law at mfcu.investigations@coag.gov or 720- 508-6696.

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