Caretaker Charged in Poisoning Death of a Man Suffering from Dementia
Photo: Stock Image
Written By: Jim Emerson
WALNUT CREEK — A man suffering from dementia died after drinking an all-purpose cleaning solution at an assisted living facility. A caretaker has been jailed and charged for allegedly being responsible for his poisoning.
Lateshia Sherise Starling, a 54-year-old resident of San Pablo, is being held in custody at the Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $100,000 bond. Starling was arrested by Walnut Creek PD on a Ramey Warrant.
Criminal charges were filed against Starling on January 26th. She is charged with inflicting, causing, permitting injury, suffering and endangerment to an elder or dependent, [PC 368(b)]. Starling allegedly allowed the elder dependent victim to be placed in a situation that endangered him.
The victim 94-year-old Constance Albert Canoun died August 31st. He suffered a painful death, resulted from injuries to his stomach, esophagus, and throat. He was rushed to a hospital on August 23rd, after drinking a chemical cleaning solution. A coroner’s report confirmed his cause of death.
His tragedy occurred at Atria Walnut Creek, part of a chain of assisted living facilities operated by Atria Senior Living Inc. The company operates eight facilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Starling was the only caretaker in the dining room when the victim drank the poison. The victim apparently believed that he was drinking red wine, while he was eating his regular lunch. Apparently, the poison was carelessly left in the kitchen area.
Other alleged poisoning deaths at Aria facilities in the Bay Area have been widely reported. The company is being sued. Starling is due to appear for her court arraignment on February 3rd.