Five Charged in Death of Developmentally Disabled Man Found Encased in Concrete
Two caregivers who’ve been accused in a lawsuit of forcing a disabled man to fight to his death now face charges of involuntary manslaughter. Federal charges may follow.
Five people have been indicted on charges related to the death of a developmentally disabled Missouri man whose body was found encased in concrete and stuffed in a trash can last year, authorities announced this week.
Two suspects, Sherry Paulo, 53, and Anthony R. Flores, 58, were charged on five counts, including first-degree involuntary manslaughter and neglect, according to a statement released by the Callaway County prosecutor. Flores and Paulo were employees at Second Chance Homes, a residential facility where 31-year-old Carl DeBrodie had lived since early 2016. A lawsuit filed against the care facility and state mental-health agencies last week claimed that the employees forced DeBrodie to fight another resident for their “amusement”—and took him to their home, where they left him to die in a bathtub after he had a seizure.
The other three indicted suspects—Anthony R.K. Flores, Shaina Osborne, and Mary Paulo—were charged with falsifying reports, according to the statement. All five defendants are set to appear in court on June 11.
“I'm glad the ball's started rolling,” Carol Samson, DeBrodie's aunt, told the Fulton Sun. “This is the beginning of a healing for the family. It's been a big toll on his mother.”
DeBrodie’s remains were discovered in a storage unit in April 2017, a week after his disappearance was reported, court documents say. But according to the civil lawsuit filed by DeBrodie’s mother and aunt, he’d been dead for months, as early as October 2016.
“As part of our ongoing cooperation and discussion with federal prosecutors, I have agreed not to pursue certain state criminal charges against these defendants, as well as other suspects in the investigation, to avoid interference with any federal criminal charges related to healthcare fraud that may be brought by the U.S. Department of Justice,” Callaway County Prosecuting Attorney Christopher Wilson said in the statement.
The indictment was issued in March, but wasn’t unsealed until Tuesday, authorities said.
“I made the decision to keep the indictments sealed until I was fully satisfied that proceeding with the state criminal charges would have no negative impact on the federal investigation and/or potential prosecution of federal criminal charges,” Wilson said.
Nathan Clark, DeBrodie’s brother, told the Fulton Sun he hopes his brother’s case will lead to reform. “The worst part about all of this is so many levels have failed my brother,” he told the newspaper.