Two Holyoke Soldiers Home Leaders Charged After 76 Veteran Deaths

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said the decisions that lead to mass COVID-19 deaths at the Holyoke Soldiers' Home were not mistakes; they were criminal acts.

Bennett Walsh was hired to the the Holyoke Soldiers' Home in 2016 with no experience running a medical facility. Now he and his former former medical director are criminal defendants, accused of causing or permitting multiple counts of serious bodily injury or neglect of an elder.

Attorney General Healey announced Friday that a Grand Jury had returned the federal indictments against Walsh and David Clinton. Each defendant is facing ten counts total; five counts each for the criminal neglect charge, and five counts each for the serious bodily injury charge.

Read More: First Report Into Holyoke Soldiers' Home Coronavirus Outbreak Released

Healey said the leaders' fatal decision to combine wards at the Home, and cram some veterans into a dining room, was criminal.

"The beds of these veterans in the dining room were just a few feet apart from each other," said Healey. "And next to the room were confirmed positive residents were located."

Healy said the 76 veterans who died of COVID-19 at the Home died "horrifically."

WBZ NewsRadio's Karyn Regal reports:

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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