Fargo caregiver pleads not guilty to charges against her
FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - 59-year-old Rachel Cooper has pleaded not guilty to one Manslaughter charge and one Endangering an Eligible Adult charge against her.
In early August, Cooper, a memory caregiver at Maple View Memory Care in Fargo, was accused of a deadly assault on one of her patients, 78-year-old Gary Pearson.
Cooper told investigators that she was cleaning Pearson’s bathroom when she and Pearson started struggling over the bathroom door. Surveillance video showed Cooper push Pearson, to which court documents say, he then fell backwards into the hallway. But Cooper told Maple View that Pearson fell while she was cleaning the bathroom.
Cooper later told police that Pearson was keeping her from getting out of the room that night and she struggled with him. Documents say she told investigators she pushed Pearson with one hand and he tripped and fell. Police say surveillance video shows Cooper pushing Pearson with both hands, which helped lead medical examiners to determine Pearson’s death as a homicide.
Pearson suffered a broken hip from the fall, and documents say because of that, he never returned to ‘base line,’ which caused his health to continue to deteriorate until he died on Aug. 19.
Cooper is currently out of jail on a $500 bond.
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