Nurses indicted in death of teen at Florida facility
Nurses Gaile Loperfido, left. and Dianne Demeritte remained silent in court Wednesday.
A Florida grand jury indicted two nurses on manslaughter and murder charges, finding they denied care to a dying teen at a state-run jail. CNN's Susan Candiotti reports (January 29)
MIAMI, Florida (CNN) -- Singling out the actions of two nurses as "outrageous," a Florida grand jury indicted two women on manslaughter and third-degree murder charges, finding the two women ignored calls from a dying teen for medical aid at a residential detention facility.
At the same time, the grand jury released a report stating they found "incompetence, ambivalence and negligence" by the administration and staff of the detention center and nurses employed by Miami Children's Hospital in connection with the death of 17-year-old Omar Paisley.
Paisley died June 9 from a ruptured appendix at Miami-Dade County Regional Juvenile Detention Center.
In a statement released late Tuesday, Florida Department of Juvenile Justice Secretary William G. ''Bill'' Bankhead said his agency would cooperate with the grand jury findings.
Bankhead also said his department has undertaken an "internal investigation into administrative issues" at the detention center.
The two nurses indicted -- Gaile Tucker Loperfido and Dianne Marie Demeritte -- are contract employees of Miami Children's Hospital, assigned to the Miami-Dade County detention center.
"The conduct of two of the nurses was so outrageous as to rise to the level of criminal negligence and we have felt compelled to issue indictments for these acts," read the 50-page grand jury report.
Loperfido and Demeritte turned themselves in Wednesday before Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Robert Deehl.
According to the grand jury report, Demeritte told at least two people she did not examine the teenager "due to the fact she had a sick child at home" and "she didn't want to catch his virus and take it home."
The grand jury cited repeated instances of a slow response to Paisley's repeated requests for help.
The grand jury report also indicated both nurses added entries of alleged examinations of the boy after his death. The report offered evidence disputing whether the teenager was checked as many times as the nurses' post-death reports show.
Report: Teenager's life 'ended in agony'
Paisley died of a ruptured appendix after what the grand jury called three days in agony.
The grand jury investigation documented the final three days of Paisley's life, culminating with his death last summer from a ruptured appendix.
The report opens by saying the teenager's final days "ended ... in agony, lying on a concrete bed" and "despite his repeated requests for help, Omar was denied that which many of us take for granted, appropriate and timely medical care."
The report said it found "numerous" people played a role in the teen's death, yet added the nurses' actions and inactions stood out.
At one point, when Paisley was apparently near death, he was made to sit in a chair outside his cell while employees initially made efforts to transfer the teen using the facility's own van.
"As he remained in the chair, brown fluid flowed from his nose and mouth," according to the report.
While that was going on, the report stated, a volunteer for a religious counseling group witnessed Paisley "slumped over in the chair" outside his room.
"He immediately checked and noted Omar had no pulse," the report said.
According to the grand jury, no one responded with medical aid.
"Despite the fact that each detention worker was trained in first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, not one of them engaged in efforts to save Omar's life," the report said.
The juvenile facility is Florida's largest of its kind and at the time of Paisley's death was operating at 135 percent over its capacity, the report stated.