Charges Dropped Against Former Leaders Of Holyoke Soldiers Home

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — A judge has dismissed charges of criminal neglect against two former leaders of the Holyoke Soldiers' Home for their alleged role in one of the worst COVID outbreaks at a long-term care facility in the nation.

Former superintendent Bennett Walsh and ex-medical director Dr. David Clinton both faced charges for a COVID outbreak at the home that lead to the death of at least 76 veterans. However, the judge has dismissed those charges, citing insufficient evidence their actions were criminal.

When the pair were indicted last year, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy said the charges stemmed from their plan to combine two dementia units together, which placed residents who had COVID with residents with no symptoms.

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Hampden Superior Court Judge Edward McDonough Jr. said there was not enough evidence the medical condition of the veterans would have been any different if the units had not been combined.

While these charges were dismissed, a separate civil lawsuit is still moving forward. Attorney General Healy also could appeal the decision.

WBZ's James Rojas reports.

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