Two Massachusetts doctors charged with criminal neglect for 76 coronavirus deaths at veterans' home

The former heads of the state-run Holyoke Soldiers' Home were indicted on charges of abuse and neglect

Published: September 25, 2020 11:44am

Updated: September 25, 2020 2:04pm

The Massachusetts Attorney General has indicted two doctors on charges of criminal neglect in connection to the deaths of at least 76 veterans' home residents who died of the novel coronavirus. 

Bennett Walsh, 50, and David Clinton, 71, were indicted by a state grand jury on Thursday in connection to their work at the Holyoke Soldiers' home in Massachusetts. Each man was indicted on five counts, specifically for charges including "wantonly or recklessly" permitting or causing bodily harm and mistreatment of an older or disabled individual.

State investigators zeroed in on the events of March 27, when staff at the facility combined two dementia wards containing patients with and without the novel illness. The facility was short staffed and made the decision to combine units containing 42 residents – some of whom had the virus and some of whom did not.

Residents were packed by the half-dozen into rooms that typically only held four veterans, allowing the highly contagious disease to spread at an alarming rate.

The office of the Attorney General has said that Walsh and Clinton will be arraigned in Hampden County Superior Court at a later date. 

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