OTTAWA — A Putnam County jury has found a nurse guilty on two charges and not guilty on one in a case involving the death of a nursing home patient last winter.

Hilty Home employee Megan Schnipke, 32, of Columbus Grove, was found guilty on charges of forgery and gross patient neglect this afternoon, but was found not guilty of patient neglect.

Schnipke’s lawyer, Robert Grzybowski, had argued that Schnipke was “not criminally liable” in the death of 76-year-old Phyllis J. Campbell, a Hilty Home resident who wandered outside in January and died of hypothermia.Grzybowski argued instead that two other Hilty Home employees who have already pleaded guilty are to blame.

Rachel R. Friesel, 37, and Destini M. Fenbert, 20, both of Pandora, pleaded guilty in August to forgery, a fifth-degree felony, and gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor. They were state-tested nurse aides at the nursing home.

They were each sentenced by Judge Keith Schierloh to 60 days in the Putnam County jail, five years of community control sanctions, and 100 days of community service. They have to jointly pay $4,536 in restitution.

According to an Ohio Department of Health report, Campbell, formerly of Findlay, left the building through an exit in the dining room around 12:35 a.m. Jan. 7. Campbell was known to have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the report said.

 

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