BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. - No criminal charges will be brought in the death of a Maplewood Manor Nursing Home resident, finding he did not fall out of a second-story window, rather exited the building on his own before his death.
The Ballston Spa Police Department has closed their investigation into the death of 85-year-old Carlton Decker, a former resident of the Maplewood Manor Nursing Home, who died from a heart attack after having
been found in the exterior courtyard of the facility on December
Initially it was thought that Decker had fallen out of a second-floor window from his room, and dropped into the courtyard along with his walker, but that theory was disproven at autopsy, Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy said Monday.
Murphy says the autopsy determined that Decker had severe osteoporosis and would have had numerous broken bones and fractures had he fallen or dropped even a short distance.
Decker used a walker and exiting the window across a rooftop and down onto the pavement below would have been difficult, if not impossible given his frail condition.
Police concluded that Decker likely knew the access code to the unit's locked doors, which would normally have prevented him from leaving, and likely typed the code into the panel to exit. Police say he then likely took the elevator located directly outside the locked unit doors, in the hallway of the second floor down to the first floor.
Officials say Decker knew his way around Maplewood Manor as he had lived in five different locations over his time there.
While minimum staffing levels were met, the staff, if seated at the nurses' station, could not have viewed the hallways of the unit. Or if tending to a resident, may have been in a resident's room at the time of Decker leaving his room.
Lastly, Murphy says it could not be confirmed that all doors on the first floor leading to the exterior courtyard were armed and secured at the time of the incident.
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