A State Grand Jury indicted Joseph and Lolita Somera, managers of a Chandler assisted living facility, after the death of a 69-year-old resident who spent two days inside the home-based facility without air conditioning.
According to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Joseph, age 56, and Lolita, age 56, are each charged with one count of Vulnerable Adult Abuse, a class 3 felony. The Someras manage and operate Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility located at 2120 West Shannon Street in Chandler, AZ. The indictment alleges that the Someras recklessly endangered the health of the 69-year-old victim, a vulnerable male, who lived in their care.
On August 16, 2018, the air conditioning at the facility failed, leaving the five residents without air conditioning. On August 18, 2018, at 11:45 am, Lolita Somera called 911 to report that the victim was non-responsive.
The Chandler Police Department investigated the case and documented that the temperature inside the home was 94 degrees. The temperature in the victim’s room was 100 degrees. The air conditioning had not worked in the home for 48 hours. The victim was pronounced dead at 11:54 am. The victim had lived at the facility since May of 2018.
The Maricopa Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, the contributory cause of death was environmental heat exposure.