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Chrissie Cole
Chrissie Cole
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Jury Selection Begins in Nursing Home Death

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Martha Bell, the former manager of a Robinson nursing home is being accused of covering up an 88-year-old Alzheimer patient’s death. Bell said little as she sat doodling notes while attorneys were interviewing potential jurors.

Bell is being charged in connection with the death of Mabel Taylor, a resident of (now-closed) Ronald Reagan Atrium/Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center. Bell is being charged with manslaughter and nursing home neglect.

In October, Bell was sentenced to five years in prison after a federal jury convicted her on one count of health care fraud and eight counts of making false statements on health care matters. Medical records were doctored to allow for Medicare and Medicaid payments on treatments not rendered.

Four jurors were selected after a full day of questioning in Allegheny County Common Pleas Court. Selection resumes today.

In October 2001, Taylor allegedly wandered undetected into the courtyard of the Atrium and found hours later. It was in the 40s that night and the coroner’s office ruled the exposure was a probable factor in Taylor’s death from cardiac arrest.

Bell is accused of ordering employees to carry Taylor’s body back into the nursing home and place her in bed, under the covers. Taylor’s family was originally told she died in her sleep, authorities said.