Prosecutors weigh severely disabled Illinois man’s death

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

GOP debate takeaways: Cruz, Rubio mix it up, as do Bush and Trump, who pledged loyalty to GOP.

Like most of the severely disabled residents at the Warren G. But the gathering of White House hopefuls in Las Vegas shaped up as a pair of mini-match-ups: One debate unfolded between the 44-year-old senators, Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida.CENTRALIA, Ill. – A local prosecutor says he’ll soon decide whether to criminally charge a former state worker in a severely disabled man’s choking death from a shower that co-workers described as punishment for uncooperative residents of a southern Illinois developmental center.ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) — An Iowa television station was doing a live update on a Minnesota bank robbery when police say the suspect returned to rob it a second time. Murray Developmental Center in southern Illinois, Todd Clementz stuck to a routine: Deaf, blind and requiring constant supervision, he passed his days with meals, therapy and an evening bath.

But in late March, Clementz’s routine was disrupted when a worker at the state institution gave him an unscheduled shower, during which the 46-year-old man choked to death. First, the duo tangled over the federal government’s bulk collection of phone data via a program that began after the 9/11 attacks and was recently ended by Congress. He was initially placed on administrative leave but later was fired for seeking work at another state agency during an internal investigation, according to Veronica Vera, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Human Services, which oversees the developmental center. Tom Hatley, a state police investigator, testified at the coroner’s inquest that the mental health technician who gave Clementz the shower told him that Clementz had missed his regularly scheduled bath “because he was exhibiting a behavior.” Other workers testified that the forced shower was meant to help keep Clementz from going to sleep earlier than scheduled. Cruz reiterated his position that the U.S. needs to use “overwhelming air power to utterly and completely destroy ISIS.” Rubio dismissed that plan by saying that doing so “is not to lead at all.” Rubio said terrorists cannot be defeated only by air strikes, arguing a ground force primarily made up of Sunni Arabs is also needed to beat back the Islamic militants.

The two also tussled over immigration, with each accusing the other of changing his tune on the contentious topic. “I understand that Marco wants to raise confusion,” Cruz charged. As the two-hour-plus debate opened, Bush said Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the U.S. is “not serious” and would make the country less safe. An autopsy determined Clementz died from choking on cold water as well as regurgitated food. “This gentleman was waterboarded,” said Tony Pauluski, executive director of The ARC of Illinois, an advocacy group that wants the state to close all of its developmental centers by 2020. Then came a punch: “Donald is great at one-liners, but he’s a chaos candidate and he’d be a chaos president.” The audience “oohed” at the jab, and a visibly agitated Trump responded that Bush was only attacking him “because I’m leading and his campaign has been a total disaster and nobody cares.” The two candidates later ended up in a tense exchange that wandered far from the foreign policy questions at issue. “If you think this is tough and you’re not being treated fairly, imagine dealing with Putin,” Bush said, referring to Russian leader Vladimir Putin.

Hatley said several co-workers of the technician — who is at least 6 feet tall and about 250 pounds — said he had previously given forced showers to discipline uncooperative residents. Trump’s reaction was to remind Bush of the wide gulf between them in preference polls. “You started off here,” Trump said, gesturing to his place at the center of the stage where the leaders in the polls stand. “You’re moving further and further.

Pretty soon you’re going to be off the end.” “Just two months ago he said that Hillary Clinton would be a great negotiator with Iran,” Bush said. “And he gets his foreign policy experience from the shows. Vera said Clementz’s death led to increased staff training and supervision, among other changes, including the replacement of suctioning machines designed to stop patients from choking. Other states are increasingly turning to smaller, community-based treatment options spurred by an evolving consensus on treatment and a series of federal court rulings.

That can lead our country to safety and security. ” Despite enticements from the CNN moderators, both Rubio and Cruz pointedly declined to go after Trump — even on his proposed Muslim ban. Both said they understood where he was coming from, but that the policy simply wouldn’t work. “Everyone understands why Donald has suggested what he has,” Cruz said.

But parents and guardians of patients at the institution and others like it sued in federal court, alleging it would violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mark Winkeler, 31, is a 20-year Murray Center resident with an IQ of 12, who can’t speak and is unable to feed, dress or bathe himself, or use the bathroom on his own. At 6-foot-3, but with severe osteoporosis, he walks haltingly with a pronounced hunch, his feet turned inward while navigating a living area where most other residents are bedridden or use wheelchairs.

He said New Jersey was constantly under threat of attack in the years after 9/11 and he had to make decisions about “whether to use actionable intelligence.” Christie mocked the senators running against him, and the Senate in general, for “endless debate about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.”

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