On Monday, a judge sentenced Aminata Fofana to three years of a basic level of community control after she pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of a nursing home resident in 2021. The incident occurred during her time at the Lewis Center nursing home in Capri Gardens, Ohio.
Fofana was working as a nurse looking after the residents. On May 12, 2021, she removed Paul Mowery’s tracheostomy mask to clean it but failed to reattach the tube after putting the mask back on the 72-year-old. An hour later, another nurse came in to check on the residents when she found Mowery dead. The tracheostomy tube was on the floor and not connected to the patient’s mouth, depriving him of oxygen, the prosecutors noted. And Mowery died of suffocation due to Fofana’s negligence, they added.
Fofana was fired and stripped of her nursing license after the incident was reported. When federal investigators asked her about the case in June 2020, she said she forgot to reattach the mask. She then pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
During the sentencing, Fofana broke down in tears and repeatedly asked for forgiveness. Mowery’s wife, Luana Mowery, was in attendance and said she never got to say goodbye to her husband.
“I’m not ready to forgive her yet, but I did listen to her statement. I’m glad that she was convicted for causing my husband’s death,” Luana Mowery said.
The widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Capri Gardens, its parent company, and Fofana in January.
In addition to the three years of basic level of community control, Fofana will need to complete any classes her probation officers ask her to complete. She must also maintain residence and employment as approved by the PO, complete 100 hours of community service, pay a $500 fine, and agree not to work as a nurse or take care of sick individuals. She also won’t be able to leave the state without express permission.
“Our office will never hesitate to fight those who victimize the most vulnerable in our population,” said Delaware County Prosecuting Attorney Melissa Schiffel, whose office prosecuted the case. “We are thankful for our law enforcement partners who investigated this tragic crime.”
“We will always advocate for our most vulnerable populations, especially the elderly in the care of others,” said Delaware County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Jeff Balzer. “We’re grateful to the Ohio AG’s Office and our partners at the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office who help bring justice to those who have been victimized.”