Woman guilty of death of at-risk adult sentenced to one year in jail, probation

DENVER — A woman involved in the death of an at-risk adult pleaded guilty and was sentenced to one year in jail and five years of probation with all but the two days that she had previously served after her arrest suspended.

Victoria Pletting said she was guilty of criminally negligent homicide related to her role in the death of Buddhi Rai, an at-risk adult with multiple diagnoses, including a seizure disorder.

Rai, a resident of the Wheat Ridge Regional Center, was diagnosed with developmental disabilities, a severe seizure disorder, and dysphagia that resulted in him receiving all of his nourishment from a G-tube.

Due in part to a tendency to pull out his G-tube, which then necessitated medical care, and his frequent tonic-clonic seizures, supervision protocols required staff to maintain line-of-sight supervision of Rai at all times when he was awake.

Despite these requirements, on Nov. 20, 2014, Pletting left Rai unattended in a bathtub, and additionally advised a less experienced employee that it was permissible to leave him alone.

His lifeless, partially submerged body was later discovered in the bathtub by staff. The coroner’s office determined the cause of death was drowning, which might have been precipitated by a seizure.

During the investigation, Pletting admitted that, despite being aware of the line-of-sight supervision requirements, she had left Rai unattended in the bathtub eight or nine times previously.

Pletting is prohibited from working as a caregiver for the duration of her probation.

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