Pleas in freezing death of Alzheimer’s patient

Denise Filcek (left) and Yahira Zamora (right) arraigned on charges over the October freezing death of a woman outside Crystal Springs Assisted Living in Gaines Township. (March 23, 2017)


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The former nursing home workers accused of failing to do their job, leading to the freezing death of an 85-year-old woman, will plead to charges.

The pleas come nearly a year since Katheryn Brackett, an Alzheimer’s patient, died. Bracket was a resident at the Crystal Springs Peace Harbor senior facility on 68th Street in Gaines Township. She had only been there six weeks.

Kathyrn Brackett
An undated courtesy photo of Kathryn Brackett.

Brackett walked out the door about 11 p.m. the night of Oct. 26 and was found dead around 6 a.m. the next day. There was rain overnight and temperatures were in the upper 30s. An autopsy showed she died of hypothermia: Her body temperature when found was 71.6 degrees.

Denise Filcek is charged with providing misleading or inaccurate information on a medical chart after she allegedly claimed on a log sheet that half-hour bed checks on patients, including Brackett, had been completed. That charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

The 46-year-old is slated to plea on Wednesday in Kent County Circuit Court.

Another former employee, 23-year-old Yahira Zamora, pleaded no contest last month to second-degree vulnerable adult abuse for allowing Brackett to get outside unnoticed.

Denise Filcek (left) and Yahira Zamora (right) arraigned on charges over the October freezing death of a woman outside Crystal Springs Assisted Living in Gaines Township. (March 23, 2017)

She allegedly admitted to investigators she did hear an alarm go off when she was with another patient and never checked the door.

Zamora faces up to four years in prison when she is sentenced in November.

Meanwhile, Brackett’s family is suing Crystal Springs, claiming negligence. They are represented by the Sam Bernstein law firm.