Charges refiled in man’s death

From Local Sources


HUNTINGBURG — A Huntingburg woman turned herself in Tuesday to answer to a warrant issued when charges were refiled in the neglect death of a 69-year-old man in her care.

Latasha M. Rodriguez, 25, 204 W. Fourth St., Huntingburg, is facing charges of Level 1 felony of neglect of a dependent resulting in death, Level 3 felony neglect of a dependent resulting in serious injury and Level 6 felony exploitation of a dependent with the victim at least 60 years old.

The Huntingburg Police Department opened an investigation in December 2017 after an emergency room physician at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper notified officials of potential neglect and said Adult Protective Services needed to be contacted.

According to police, the physician reported that Bruce A. Clayton, 69, of Huntingburg, was brought to the hospital by ambulance and found to be extremely malnourished and suffering from multiple severe pressure ulcers (bed sores). The doctor said bones were visible from the exterior of his body due to pressure ulcers mostly on his back and buttocks.

Clayton died on Dec. 18, 2017, a few days after being admitted into the emergency room. An autopsy revealed that malnourishment and infection from the pressure ulcers contributed to his death.

Further investigation revealed Clayton was physically and mentally disabled after suffering a stroke in 2012 that left him in the care of Rodriguez and Selena N. Aguilar, 24, of Huntingburg. Neither woman was related to Clayton.

According to police, Rodriguez was given power of attorney after Clayton suffered the stroke, leaving her in charge of all his affairs. Additional investigation into Clayton’s financial and health records dating back to 2012 revealed a history of neglect and financial exploitation, according to authorities.

Both Rodriguez and Aguilar were arrested and charged with felony neglect and financial exploitation in May 2018.

Aguilar was sentenced in October 2019, pursuant to a plea agreement after pleading guilty to a Level 3 felony count of neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury.

The original case against Rodriguez was dismissed by the prosecution without prejudice in August 2018, but the investigation into her involvement in Clayton’s death continued during the pendency of Aguilar’s case and into this year.

Charges against Rodriguez were refiled Friday, and on Tuesday, a warrant was issued in Dubois Circuit Court for her to be taken into custody. Rodriguez turned herself in at the Dubois County Security Center and was booked at 5:11 p.m. Tuesday on the active warrant.

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