WALNUT CREEK — Contra Costa County prosecutors have charged a 54-year-old San Pablo woman with one count of felony elder or dependent abuse following the death of a 94-year-old man who drank cleaning fluid at a senior care facility last year, authorities said Friday.
Prosecutors allege that Lateshia Starling “willfully caused and permitted” Constantine Canoun to be in a “situation in which his health was endangered,” according to portions of the complaint released by Contra Costa District Attorney spokesperson Ted Asregadoo.
Canoun died on Aug. 31, 2022, eight days after he became ill. A coroner’s report released by the Contra Costa County Coroner’s Office said Canoun died from “a caustic injury to [his] pharynx, esophagus and stomach” that was caused by an “ingestion of akaline cleaning solution.”
Prosecutors say the health worker left Canoun unsupervised.
Canoun was a resident at Atria Walnut Creek, a senior living facility operated by Atria Senior Living, a Kentucky-based company. He drank an all-purpose cleaning solution on Aug. 23 and was rushed to John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, where he eventually died.
Walnut Creek police investigated the incident and referred it to the District Attorney’s office on Jan. 24, Asregadoo said. Prosecutors filed the charges Friday in Contra Costa County Superior Court.
Starling was in custody Friday at the Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.
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