Claremore VA Patient's Widow Reacts To Murder Indictment
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa widow says she can't believe what her husband went through as he was dying at the Claremore Veterans Center.
On Monday, the man's primary caretaker was indicted on second degree murder and neglect charges.
Mary Jo Arterberry says she never would have known how her husband was treated at the center if DHS investigators hadn't contacted her. She sued the state after finding out the details.
"I just figured it was a death. He was old and he had things wrong with him," Mary Jo said.
She said Kenneth Adams would have gotten away with murder if investigators hadn't looked into her husband's death, while they investigated the scalding death of another veteran.
Adams is now accused of second degree murder in both deaths.
"He was only there for six months and I just could kill myself, because I wish I'd just kept him at home, but I got to where I just couldn't do it," Mary Jo said.
Louis Arterberry served in the Navy in World War II and the Korean War. When he needed full-time care at age 85, the family chose Claremore Veterans Center.
"We thought it was perfect," Mary Jo said.
She said the nurses were great.
But when Louis started having a stroke one night, court documents state Adams, his primary caretaker, ignored him and that led to Louis's death.
Investigators say, instead of helping, Adams was instead trying to set up a sexual relationship with another person.
Mary Jo said Louis wasn't taken to the hospital until 10 hours later.
"I don't see how you can just sit there and let them lay there and do nothing," she said.
Louis survived for a week after the stroke before he passed away in April 2012.
Mary Jo said she believes things would have been different had he received immediate care.
"All of it's just been hard, really hard," she said. "I think he might have lived a long time."
Mary Jo likes to think her husband didn't suffer, but she wanted someone to pay for what happened to him. She sued the state and settled for the maximum of $175,000.
Kenneth Adams bonded out of jail Tuesday.
His attorney says Adams denies the allegations, and the two of them are going over the entire indictment Thursday.
Adams is due back in court on June 10.