OTTAWA — Two Pandora women pleaded guilty this week to involvement in the death of 76-year-old Phyllis J. Campbell, who died of hypothermia outside of Hilty Home, a Pandora nursing home, in January.

Rachel R. Friesel, 36, and Destini M. Fenbert, 20, both pleaded guilty Thursday in Putnam County Common Pleas Court to forgery, a fifth-degree felony, and gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor.

The women were originally indicted on additional charges of involuntary manslaughter, a third-degree felony, and patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor. Those charges were dropped Thursday as part of a plea agreement.

They will be sentenced next month.

According to an Ohio Health and Human Services report, two state-tested nurse aides (STNA) and one licensed practical nurse (LPN) were placed on administrative leave after Campbell’s death.

The indictment and the state report allege the workers failed to check on Campbell overnight, among other nursing home failures that could have prevented her death.

According to the report, a nurse’s aide put Campbell to bed around 9:30 p.m. on Jan. 6. At 9:50 p.m., Campbell was seen at a nursing station, getting snacks.

A nurse told investigators the last check on Campbell was performed around midnight. The state report said she left the building around 12:35 p.m.

Campbell was found outside at about 8:15 a.m. the next day. The temperature overnight was 2 degrees below zero and there was snow on the ground.

But nursing home records showed checks on Campbell were done at 2 a.m. and 4 a.m.

Campbell was known to have dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, the report states.

The report cited several safety breaches that led to her death.

Friesel and Fenbert were set to go to trial on Sept. 10. Sentencing is now set for Sept. 28. They are both out of jail on bond.

A third woman charged in the incident, Megan E. Schnipke, 32, of Columbus Grove, is awaiting a November trial.

She is charged with forgery, a fifth-degree felony; gross patient neglect, a first-degree misdemeanor; and patient neglect, a second-degree misdemeanor.

A call to the Putnam County prosecutor’s office was not returned Friday.

McClory: 419-427-8497
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