A 3rd District Court judge has dismissed neglect charges against two counselors of a residential youth treatment center in Draper.
Deborah Cole and Jorge Ramirez, from Youth Care Inc., 12600 Minuteman Drive, were charged last October with one count each of abuse or neglect of a child, a third-degree felony. The charges stemmed from the death of California resident Brendan Blum in June 2007.
Blum was having stomach problems and had been vomiting and suffering from diarrhea all night. But rather than contacting the facility's on-call nurse, Blum was given some medicine and placed in a room away from the other boys. The next morning he was found dead on his mattress.
An autopsy later revealed the boy had an obstructed bowel that deteriorated as the night progressed. Police said when they later interviewed the nurse, she said she would have recommended he go to the hospital immediately.
Defense attorneys argued to dismiss the case, noting that Blum suffered from a rare medical condition that presented itself as flu-like symptoms. Prosecutors fought the motion. But in late July, Judge Robert Adkins ordered the charges dismissed, finding no probable cause that Blum was neglected.
Alicia Cook, with the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office, said her office felt it was the right decision to file charges in the case, but that, "We are understanding of the decision (to dismiss). In all fairness, we have to acknowledge the reasons underlying the judge's decision."