Authorities in Michigan announced Wednesday that criminal charges were filed against three youth home employees reportedly involved in the May 1 death of a 16-year-old boy.
According to The Detroit News, Lakeside Academy employees Michael Mosley and Zachary Solis were charged with homicide involuntary manslaughter and child abuse (second-degree childcare organization violation causing death). The facility’s nurse, Heather McLogan, was charged with involuntary manslaughter for gross negligence and failure to perform her legal duty to obtain medical care.
Fredericks died two days after Mosley and Solis allegedly restrained him for throwing a sandwich in the facility’s cafeteria. Surveillance footage reportedly showed an employee forcing their weight onto Fredericks’ chest for 10 minutes.
A $100 million lawsuit against the Kalamazoo facility alleged that Fredericks screamed, “I can’t breathe,” before losing consciousness. Reports indicated staff waited 12 minutes to call 911 and administer CPR after the teen became unresponsive.
A Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ (MDHHS) report charged that Lakeside Academy staff tapped Fredericks, splashed water on his face, and lifted his head before checking his pulse. Officials said witness accounts also indicated that the teen was foaming at the mouth and possibly choking on his tongue, according to MLive.
Prosecutors’ announcement came the same day the county medical examiner ruled Fredericks’ death a homicide. An autopsy determined “restraint asphyxia” killed the teen.
Last week, the state health department ended their contracts with Lakeside Academy, meaning teens in the foster care and juvenile system would no longer be placed at the Kalamazoo facility. State officials said a 125 youths were relocated as a result.
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[Featured image: Cornelius Fredericks/Marko Law, PLLC]