Couple sentenced for neglect of a vulnerable adult in Morrisville resulting in death

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MORRISVILLE — Joshua M. Jones, 34, and Britney Spaulding, 34, were sentenced on charges related to neglect of a vulnerable adult with death resulting, the Attorney General’s Office announced.

The couple were formerly residents of Morrisville.

Jones and Spaulding were employed as caregivers through the Vermont Medicaid Choices for Care waiver program, providing services to two vulnerable adults, including a 71-year-old woman with developmental delays and dementia.

The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud and Residential Abuse Unit (MFRAU) charged the couple in 2021 after the elderly woman, who was completely dependent on Jones and Spaulding for basic care, died in their home.

Investigation revealed that the woman was left immobile, soaked in urine, and her subsequent infection resulted in her death due to Jones’ neglect.

While Spaulding was not the primary caregiver, she received Medicaid payments for care not provided during that time.

The couple also filed fraudulent claims for services delivered to the woman and a second vulnerable adult in their home.

Jones, who pleaded guilty to one count of felony neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death and one count of felony Medicaid fraud, was sentenced to four to six years, all suspended but three years to serve in jail and ten years of probation.

Spaulding pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor neglect of a vulnerable adult and two counts of misdemeanor false pretenses. She received a suspended jail sentence, 10 years of probation, and 250 hours of community service.

Both Jones and Spaulding are prohibited from working with vulnerable adults and will be added to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of the Inspector General Exclusion list, barring them from receiving funds from Federal health care programs for at least five years.

They are also required to attend and participate in Restorative Justice programming and counseling.

Attorney General Charity Clark emphasized that caregivers must face consequences for neglecting their responsibilities. She said it is of utmost importance that the state ensures vulnerable Vermonters receive the care they are promised.

Reports of neglect or abuse can be made to local law enforcement, Adult Protective Services at 800-564-1612, or the MFRAU at https://ago.vermont.gov/medicaid-fraud-report-form/.

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