Joseph Somera and Lolita Somera pleaded guilty to Vulnerable Adult Abuse
CHANDLER, AZ (STL.News) Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced two managers of a Chandler assisted living facility pleaded guilty to their roles in the death of a 69-year-old resident who spent two days inside the home-based facility without air conditioning.
56-year-old Joseph Somera and 56-year-old Lolita Somera pleaded guilty to Vulnerable Adult Abuse, a class 6 Designated Felony. The Someras managed and operated Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility in Chandler, AZ.
On August 16, 2018, the air conditioning at the facility failed, leaving five residents without air conditioning. On August 18th at 11:45 am, Lolita Somera called 911 to report the victim, a vulnerable male, was non-responsive. The victim was pronounced dead at 11:54 am.
Chandler Police Department investigated 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 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. The contributory cause of death was environmental heat exposure.
Lolita Somera was sentenced on November 7, 2019. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Fink imposed a three-year probation term and an additional 90 days flat in jail with a release date of February 5, 2020. After her jail term is complete, she will be turned over to Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) based on her illegal status.
Joseph Somera will be sentenced on December 5, 2019.