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Chandler managers plead guilty after resident dies without air conditioning

Lolita and Joseph Somera (Arizona Attorney General's Office Photos)

PHOENIX – Two people involved in a death of a resident at a Chandler assisted living facility that was without air conditioning have pleaded guilty.

According to a press release, Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced 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 the Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility in Chandler. On Aug. 16, 2018, the air conditioning at the facility failed, leaving five residents without air conditioning.

Two days later at 11:45 a.m., Lolita Somera called 911 to report a 69-year-old male resident was non-responsive. He was pronounced dead at 11:54 a.m.

The Maricopa Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia. Environmental heat exposure was a contributing cause in the death.

The Chandler Police Department said the temperature inside the home was 94 degrees, and the temperature in the victim’s room was 100 degrees.

Lolita Somera was sentenced Nov. 7 by the Maricopa County Superior Court. She’ll serve a three-year probation term and 90 days in jail with a release date of Feb. 5, 2020. Upon her release, she’ll be turned over to Immigration and Naturalization Service based on her illegal status.

Joseph Somera will be sentenced Dec. 5.

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