Three hospice facility workers were arrested last month in connection to a social media post in which they mocked a dying stroke victim.
According to 11Alive, Jorden Lanah Bruce, Lizeth Jocelyn Cervantes Ramirez, and Mya Janai Moss were each charged with exploiting an elderly and disabled person. The women were working at Bentley Senior Living Facility in Jefferson, Georgia, and were tasked with monitoring a 76-year-old woman who had suffered a stroke. The news outlet reports the women were inside the patient’s room waiting for a hospice nurse to arrive, when they decided to film an insensitive Snapchat story titled “The End.”
The post featured Bruce, Ramirez, and Moss inside the room making obscene gestures and using profanities. One of the women was reportedly filmed vaping, while the patient, who has since died, was off camera. It is unknown if the employees' actions contributed to the woman's death.
“They were obviously more interested in playing on the phone and making the video and cutting up and making a joke of the situation,” Jefferson Police Detective Jay Parker told 11Alive. “My understanding is that the hospice nurse had been contacted, and these employees were supposed to be watching the female, and obviously that wasn't happening.”
The facility director Cynthia Archer told authorities she heard about the Snapchat post from another employee.
All the women are now facing a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $50,000. Bruce and Moss have since been released on bond. The federal Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement has requested that Ramirez remain in custody.
The executive director of Bentley Senior Living declined to answer 11Alive’s questions, but did release a statement confirming all of the suspects had been terminated. The director also insisted that Ramirez was working at the facility legally.
Upon learning about this incident, we promptly contacted the Jefferson Police Department and an investigation was started. No resident's condition was compromised as a result of this unfortunate event.
All employees must produce the required documentation that proves they are either U.S. citizens or legally permitted to work in the United States—which these three individuals did. We do not hire illegal immigrants. An ICE detention does not mean an individual was working illegally.
What's even more disturbing is that this type of incident is not too uncommon. According to a 2015 ProPublica report, there where at least 35 instances from 2012 in which assisted living and nursing home employees were caught posting “dehumanizing” videos and/or photos of the facilities' residents. Sixteen of those incidents involved Snapchat.