Dana K. Jones, 40, of Gurley Circle in Akron, pleaded not guilty Monday to two counts of involuntary manslaughter, each a third-degree felony, and two misdemeanor counts of gross patient neglect and patient neglect.

Jones was a licensed practical nurse at Kent Healthcare and Rehabilitation on Fairchild Avenue when she allegedly failed to give the proper care to a patient, which resulted in a heart attack, prosecutors told Portage County Common Pleas Judge Becky Doherty on Monday. She was terminated from her job for the incident, which occurred Sept. 9, 2017.

The resident, a man, had lived at the facility for three years, according to prosecutors. According to a March 22, 2018, Ohio Board of Nursing report, Jones was continually notified that the patient's condition was worsening from 8 to 11 p.m. However, she "failed to timely observe [the patient], have another nurse observe or assess [the patient], contact the house physician and/or call 911."  The man "was gasping for breath and turning blue" when Jones and another nurse looked in on him.

The report says the other nurse told Jones to call 911 and began CPR. The man was taken to the hospital where he was declared dead at 12:35 a.m. Sept. 10.

An attempt to contact Kent Healthcare and Rehabilitation for comment was not successful.

According to the state nursing board's website, Jones' nursing license has been suspended indefinitely since July 2018. She signed an agreement with the board for a minimum two-year probationary period during which she would have to meet a slew of requirements including taking classes and having her employer submit quarterly written job performance reports in order to work as a practical nurse. 

Kent Police Lt. Mike Lewis said an investigation, which included the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Ohio Department of Health, started when the 71-year-old man’s brother called police on Sept. 11, 2017, to report possible suspicious circumstances involving his brother’s death.

“He was packing up his brother’s belongings when somebody approached him and he made allegations he felt that a staff member at Kent Healthcare was not providing adequate health care,” said Lewis.

Lewis said a Kent police detective testified before the grand jury on Jan. 24, 2019.

Jones was released on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. A jury trial is scheduled for Aug. 13.