By MARGARET STAFFORD
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – More than a year after a developmentally disabled Missouri man’s body was found encased in concrete, two people who are accused in a lawsuit of making him fight for their entertainment have been charged in his death, a prosecutor announced Tuesday.
Sherry Paulo, 53, and Anthony R. Flores, 58, both of Fulton, were arrested and charged Tuesday with involuntary manslaughter in 61-year-old Carl DeBrodie’s death. They were also charged with client neglect, felony abandonment of a corpse, and two misdemeanors of making a false report of a missing person.
Paulo and Flores were responsible for DeBrodie’s care at Second Chance Homes in Fulton. Investigators say DeBrodie went missing from the home in the fall of 2016, but that his disappearance wasn’t reported until April 17, 2017, a week before his body was found in a container encased in concrete inside a Fulton storage unit.
A lawsuit filed last week by DeBrodie’s mother alleged that he died after he and another resident at Second Chance were taken to the home of Paulo and Flores, where they were required to do manual labor and fight each other for the entertainment of others. The lawsuit alleges DeBrodie, who was already seriously ill, died after the couple left him bleeding and injured in a bathtub. It also alleges they disposed of his body.
Callaway County Prosecutor Christopher Wilson did not address the fighting allegations in a news release Tuesday and said he would not answer further questions. The indictments allege that the elder Flores and Paulo didn’t properly care for DeBrodie and recklessly caused his death by failing to get medical help when he was suffering a medical emergency. The indictments also allege the two disposed of DeBrodie’s corpse at the storage unit without notifying authorities.
Three others – Anthony R.K. Flores, 32; Shaina Osborne, 29; and Mary K. Paulo, 34, all of Fulton – were also charged Tuesday with making a false report of a missing person. Mary Paulo is Sherry Paulo’s daughter, Anthony R.K. Flores is the elder Flores’ son, and Osborne is Anthony R.K. Flores’ girlfriend. The three worked at different times at Second Chance.
Wilson said a grand jury returned indictments against the five in March, but that they were kept under seal until he was satisfied the state case would not interfere with a federal investigation into potential health care fraud. He agreed not to pursue other state charges to avoid interfering with the federal investigation.
Fulton police Chief Steve Myers said he expected more arrests in relation to potential fraud.
Wilson said the Missouri attorney general’s office is handling an investigation into the Callaway County public administrator and employees in that office, who were responsible for ensuring that DeBrodie was properly cared for at Second Chance. His family alleges that required monthly meetings didn’t occur and some employees submitted falsified reports to cover up the lack of oversight.
Myers said Tuesday that his department and Wilson had been criticized for not moving fast enough to arrest suspects in DeBrodie’s death. He defended Wilson for waiting until federal investigators determined who to charge.
Wilson thanked the Fulton police, saying “they have demonstrated incredible professionalism in the face of considerable unfair criticism.”
Sherry Paulo and Anthony R. Flores are being held without bond. The other three were ordered held under bonds ranging from $2,000 to $4,000. Online court records do not indicate that the defendants have attorneys to speak for them.
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