3 Grand Junction caregivers charged in resident’s death after woman left out in heat for 6 hours

Posted at 11:50 AM, Sep 21, 2021

DENVER — Three employees of a Grand Junction assisted living facility have been charged in the death of an 86-year-old resident after the woman was left outside in the heat for six hours, Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Tuesday.

Weiser said his department filed charges of negligent death of an at-risk person and criminally negligent homicide against the three caregivers — Jamie Johnston, 30, Jenny Logan, 50, and Letticia Martinez, 27 — for the death of Hazel Place at Cappella Assisted Living and Memory Care facility on June 14.

Weiser said in a press release that Martinez and Johnston are facing additional charges of second-degree forgery.

“When our loved ones are vulnerable and in need of care, Colorado residents should be able to trust their caregivers implicitly,” Weiser said in a statement. “My department is committed to holding accountable those who take advantage of and cause harm to our state’s older residents.”

Temperatures reached 100 degrees in Grand Junction on the day of Place’s death, according to historical weather data. Details of the allegations surrounding the incident were not released.

In a statement to Denver7, Cappella Assisted Living said they reported the incident to regulatory agencies immediately after the death and are cooperating with Weiser's office in the investigation.

The facility said an internal investigation was launched after Place's death, which resulted in the termination of two of the three employees charged. The third employee is now on investigative leave.

"We are very saddened by the passing of this beloved resident, and we continue to send our sincerest sympathy to this resident's family and friends," the statement from Cappella read.