PLACERVILLE, CA (AP) - A California nurse has pleaded no contest to felony patient abuse and agreed to help in the prosecution of her nursing home supervisor.
Prosecutors say 39-year-old Rebecca LeAn Smith negotiated the plea on Thursday over her role leading up to the 2008 death of 77-year-old Johnnie Esco, who had been a patient at Placerville's El Dorado Care Center.
The Alzheimer's patient, who was supposed to be constantly monitored, died of fecal impaction in 2008 after 13 days at the nursing home.
The Sacramento Bee says Smith and 58-year-old Donna Darlene Palmer were charged with elder abuse. They also face a special allegation of inflicting great bodily injury, which adds five years to a prison sentence.
Palmer still faces trial. Her lawyer says there's no evidence of a crime.
The Associated Press