Friday, October 29, 2010

Manslaughter Charged in Hot Van Death of 20 Year Old Man with Severe Autism

Stacey Strauss of Philadelphia has been charged with manslaughter in the death of  Bryan Nevins, a 20 year old man with severe autism, who was allegedly left  in her care the day he was left to die in a sweltering hot van.  As reported by Jo Ciavaglia, Bucks County Courier Times, the court heard horrific testimony about  Nevin's death, including the fact that when  Bryan  Nevins was  pulled out of the locked van, hours after it had returned to the Woods Service facility,  his skin started slipping off his body. 

Ms Strauss has been charged, not convicted,  and if the matter proceeds to trial, she will do so with a presumption of innocence and with the burden on the state of proving her guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The arguments at the preliminary hearing  indicate that her legal counsel will argue that Nevins' death was a horrific accident that resulted from a "system wide" failure and that the blame goes beyond his client.

A court in Pennsylvania will decide whether Stacey Strauss is guilty as charged and this Canadian lawyer will not presume to know what that court will decide. Legal issues aside though this father of a 14 year old boy with severe autism who knows that some day, some one, or some persons, will be responsible for caring for my son, hopes with all my heart that they  provide much, much, better care than Bryan Nevins received.


Stranded said...

"system wide" failure. Gah! *Teeth grinding"

How nice to blame a nameless "system" and free everyone from individual responsibility and a conscience.

I am just doing my job.
That wasn't part of my job responsibility.
I did not get enough support by the system.

Oh I forgot I am human and was entrusted with the care of another human. Soon the word human will be deemed politically incorrect. I am sure.

MyTruth said...

Actually, "resulted from a "system wide" failure and that the blame goes beyond his client" does not imply a free pass. And this does go way way beyond any one person: Woods was up to three deaths in the last couple of years, as I recall. My son was briefly in this residence - I pulled him out-and that's a whole nightmare of a story, putting him in and taking him out... but I found reason to complain about physical abuse from week one. When it continued I filed two seperate reports (including photos, doctor's reports...)with Pensylvania's oversight agency, which were investigated, with much bon homme between the Residence Director and the State Inspector over coffee- and ultimately deemed unfounded. I repeat: the indiviual is not getting a "free pass." The 'system' is also accountable, and must also face justice!