Negligence of elderly woman alleged

When 56-year-old Holly Linda Connelly moved into an elderly woman’s home on Ritchey Street in Loyalsock Township in 2011, she was hired as the woman’s primary caregiver.

The home owner did “not want to go into a nursing home, but she needed daily care and attention,” state Trooper Paul McGee said in court records.

However, over time, Connelly was allegedly negligent in her responsibilities in carrying for the woman, who ended up hospitalized in September 2012 because of being “malnourished and dehydrated. It was later learned that Connelly was not keeping a clean house and was not taking care” of the woman, McGee said.

In a criminal complaint charging Connelly with the misdemeanor offense of recklessly endangering, McGee accused the caregiver of “ignoring the health needs” of the woman and being “extremely harmful” by “tampering with the victim’s life-sustaining medications.”

McGee began investigating a report that the township resident was the victim of possible elder abuse in late February after a family member and a newly court-appointed guardian contacted police.

In early January, “it was discovered that three insulin-filled syringes belonging to the victim had been tampered with,” McGee said. Another syringe was tampered with on Feb. 22, he added. Police became involved days later.

“The only person with the ability, means and opportunity to tamper with the syringes, combined with the history of reckless and harmful supervision of the victim, is Connelly,” McGee said.

“It was reported that on several occasions, Connelly was heard demanding that medical authorities place the victim in Hospice care and let her go peacefully,” McGee said.

Although the victim suffers from various “ailments,” she is “deemed healthy” as long as she “is cared for and receives proper medications,” he added.

Connelly was arraigned Monday before District Judge Gary A. Whiteman and released on $2,500 bail after waiving her preliminary hearing. Court records state that she still is living in the victim’s home in the 2400 block of Ritchey Street.