here is one article:
nurse again indicted for murder of hospital patient
written by mc prosecutor's office
wednesday, 18 march 2009 11:11 freehold, nj - on march 18, 2009, a monmouth county grand jury returned a one count indictment charging lorie hentges, 39, of brick township, n.j. with first degree murder in connection with the april 14, 2007, death of alvin flamenbaum, 72, of toms river, n.j.
a similar indictment was previously returned by a different monmouth county grand jury on september 8, 2008. after an october 15, 2008, hearing, monmouth county superior court judge francis p. de stefano dismissed the first indictment because of a procedural error during the presentation of the case to the grand jury. today's indictment is the result of a new presentation to a different grand jury panel.
lorie hentges indicted for murder.
the murder is alleged to have occurred in the cardio thoracic intensive care unit ("c.t.i.c.u.") of jersey shore university medial center in neptune township, n.j. hentges was employed there as a registered nurse, and mr. flamenbaum was a patient in the c.t.i.c.u.
mr. flamenbaum had a significant and lengthy medical history of heart disease and had undergone numerous surgeries. on march 19, 2007, he was admitted to jersey shore university medical center and diagnosed with congestive heart failure. on march 27, 2007, he underwent a cardiac surgical procedure and remained hospitalized in the c.t.i.c.u. at jersey shore university medical center until april 12, 2007, when he was transferred to a cardiac rehabilitation center in wall township, n.j.
during the late evening of april 12, 2007, mr. flamenbaum complained of shortness of breath and other symptoms, and as a result he was transported by paramedics from the rehabilitation center to jersey shore university medical center. while en route to the hospital, mr. flamenbaum went into respiratory arrest, and cpr was initiated.
mr. flamenbaum was evaluated in the emergency room at jersey shore university medical center during the early morning hours of april 13, 2007. he was determined to be cyanotic and without pulse. resuscitative efforts were continued, and mr. flamenbaum was placed on a respirator. the medical evaluation revealed that he had suffered hypoxic encephalopathy and his medical status was deemed terminal.
mr. flamenbaum was admitted to the c.t.i.c.u. of jersey shore university medical center. he remained in that unit when the flamenbaum family decided to withdraw life-sustaining efforts. palliative care commenced during the evening of april 13, 2007.
the investigation revealed that mr. flamenbaum remained in the c.t.i.c.u. and was breathing on his own after being removed from the respirator. a treating nurse from jersey shore university medical center started a shift at approximately 7:00 a.m. on april 14, 2007. this nurse had primary responsibility for mr. flamenbaum's care. the treating nurse took a short lunch break, following which the nurse returned to mr. flamenbaum's room and observed that he was still breathing on his own and that his vital signs were similar to what they had been when the nurse started her break. the nurse further observed hentges to be present in mr. flamenbaum's room. almost immediately thereafter, mr. flamenbaum's vital signs rapidly declined, and he was pronounced dead at 1:27 p.m. on april 14, 2007.
the treating nurse developed concerns about the circumstances of mr. flamenbaum's death, and communicated concerns to a supervisor in accordance with standard procedures in place at jersey shore university medical center. the nurse's concerns were then communicated upward through the jersey shore university medical center's management structure. a representative of jersey shore university medical center contacted the neptune township police department regarding the nurse's concerns on april 16, 2007.
the neptune township police department and the monmouth county prosecutor's office immediately commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding mr. flamenbaum's death. mr. flamenbaum's body was removed from the funeral home to which it had been transported and taken to the monmouth county medical examiner's office for purposes of autopsy.
an autopsy was performed by chief monmouth county medical examiner jay a. peacock. toxicological studies were also conducted. the cause of death was determined to be the acute pharmacologic effects of an unprescribed paralytic drug which had been administered to mr. flamenbaum without simultaneous artificial respiratory support. the manner of death was determined to be homicide.
at this time, the investigation has failed to uncover any evidence that hentges' conduct was anything other than a single, isolated incident. however, the investigation remains ongoing, and any member of the public with information regarding hentges' actions as a registered nurse is encouraged to contact detective daniel baldwin of the monmouth county prosecutor's office at 1-800/ 533-7443 and/or detective sergeant jeffrey force of the neptune township police department at 732/ 988-8000.
any questions regarding hentges' employment history or status with jersey shore university medical center should be directed to the jersey shore university medical center or meridian health.
following the return of the indictment, hentges turned herself in to the monmouth county sheriff's office where she was processed and brought before monmouth county superior court judge ira e. kreizman. judge kreizman set hentges' bail at $250,000.
if convicted of murder, hentges faces a minimum mandatory custodial term of 30 years during which she would not be eligible for parole, and a maximum potential custodial sentence of up to life in prison with a 30 period of parole ineligibility.
despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty by a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the u.s. constitution and state law.
the case is assigned to assistant monmouth county prosecutor marc c. lemieux, director of the major crimes bureau. hentges is represented by alton d. kenney, esquire, of freehold, n.j.
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