Dix Hills Men Indicted In Nursing Home Crime Cover-Up

By Carina Livoti

clivoti@longislandergroup.com

 

Pictured: Justin Wood (left) and Gerald Wood (right).

Pictured: Justin Wood (left) and Gerald Wood (right).

Dix Hills residents Justin Wood, 29, and Gerry "Jerry" Wood III, 30, accused of covering up neglect and abuse at an upstate nursing home they co-own, were charged in a 45-count indictment by the New York State Attorney General.

The Woods are part-owners of the Mohawk Valley Health Care Center in Ilion, N.Y. They and other top administrators were arraigned on May 7 in Herkimer County Court.

Jerry Wood faces four charges in the 45-count indictment: one count of eavesdropping, one count of conspiracy in the fifth degree, and two counts of willful violation of health laws.

Eavesdropping is a felony, with a maximum penalty of one-and-a-third to four years in prison.

Justin Wood faces just one misdemeanor: conspiracy in the fifth degree. The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor is one year of jail time.

The charges stem from an alleged cover up of two incidents that occurred in the nursing home in May 2013 involving the nursing home’s former director of nursing, Nicolle Wagner Stinson, who was terminated two years ago following the incidents, according to Jerry Wood’s attorney, Richard Harrow.

“The bulk of the chargers are lodged against the head nurse, who was terminated two years ago after the charges came to light, and we fully expect that once all the evidence is heard they [Jerry and Justin] will be exonerated,” he said.

A press release from the state attorney general’s office said that the first incident involved a serious medication error that went unnoticed for several days while the second involved a resident suffering from dementia engaging in sexual conduct toward another resident in an unsupervised dining room.

Stinson was charged with 33 of the 45 counts in the indictment. Also indicted was the nursing home administrator, John Prendergast. Stinson and Prendergast reside in Fort Hill and Utica, respectively.