A nurse has been charged in the death of H.R. McMaster Sr., the father of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, and could face up to 20 years in prison if she's convicted of failing to provide adequate care after he suffered a fall.
McMaster Sr., 84, was a patient at the senior living facility Cathedral Village in Philadelphia when he was found dead on the morning of April 13 of blunt impact head trauma, according to the Philadelphia Department of Health. A week later, Philadelphia police told CNN it was investigating McMaster Sr.'s death as "suspicious."
McMaster Sr. is the father of H.R. McMaster Jr., who served as Trump's national security adviser from February 2017 until early April, when he handed over his duties to John Bolton.
The elder McMaster died about eight hours after he had an unwitnessed fall in his room on the night of April 12, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. Staff discovered him on the floor bleeding from a small cut on the side of his head, after which the licensed practical nurse, Christann Gainey, directed that he be put in a wheelchair and taken out to the lobby. Staff found him there, dead, the next morning, Shapiro said.
Gainey, who was contracted at the facility, failed to perform the required eight neurological checks that would have saved his life, Shapiro said.
"Gainey could have saved Mr. Master's life had she simply done her job," Shapiro said Thursday at a news conference in Philadelphia.
Gainey admitted to falsifying the final check, which paperwork showed was listed as after the time of McMaster Sr.'s death, according to Shapiro. Surveillance video from Cathedral Village's lobby showed that Gainey did not perform a single neurological exam and falsified all the paperwork on the checks on McMaster, Shapiro said.
Gainey, 30, was arrested Thursday morning and charged with "neglect of a care-dependent person, involuntary manslaughter and tampering with records in connection with McMaster's death." Bail and arraignment have not been set, Shapiro said.
McMaster Sr.'s family thanked the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office and Philadelphia Police Department for investigating his death after charges were filed.
"Our father, Lieutenant Colonel Herbert R. McMaster (U.S. Army, retired), was a tough and compassionate soldier and public servant. He was committed to his neighbors, his fellow soldiers, his community and his country," Letitia McMaster, his daughter, said in a statement.
"The best way to honor his memory is for all of us to do all we can to prevent others from suffering at the hands of those who lack compassion and abandon even the most basic standards of human decency," she said. "Today's charges are an important step forward in that connection."
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