Three Charged After Woman, 95, Spends Hours on Floor With Broken Leg and Later Dies, Records Show


A 95-year-old woman with a broken leg was left on the floor for hours and later died after she fell at an adult family home in Puyallup, charging papers allege.

Police shut down the Able Care Adult Family Home Thursday, and Friday prosecutors charged the people who ran it.

Lilian Wambui Cubi, 51; Patrick Cubi Mbiri, 58; and Santana Wangui Cubi, 21 were charged with second-degree criminal mistreatment.

Mbiri was also charged with fourth-degree assault.

He and Santana Cubi pleaded not guilty at arraignment, and Pierce County Superior Court Commissioner Craig Adams ordered them each held in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Defense attorneys Bryan Hershman and Michael Stewart told the court Santana Cubi and Patrick Mbiri have no criminal history and have supportive family and friends.

Lilian Cubi -- Mbiri's wife and Santana Cubi's mother -- was reportedly out of the country when police arrived Thursday.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

The husband and wife ran the facility, and their daughter worked there.

Resident Betty Torrey's family put a "nanny cam" in the room because they were suspicious about previous falls.

Footage showed Torrey call for help to get out of bed about 4 a.m. Nov. 13.

Lilian Cubi responded and "scolded her to go back to bed," the declaration for determination of probable cause said. She spoke with another woman in the room, who prosecutors think was her daughter, then left.

Torrey called for help again and then fell out of bed at 4:24 a.m.

"Torrey cries out in pain (it is later discovered that she has a broken femur) and asks for a doctor," the probable cause statement said. "Desperate to get up -- Torrey starts pulling on the curtains to assist her ... ."

Patrick Mbiri responded at 4:32 a.m.

"He slaps Torrey's hand as she tries to grab the curtains, and Torrey cries out, 'Honey -- don't hit me,'" the probable cause statement said. "Torrey repeatedly asked for help getting up and told Mbiri that she needed a doctor but he just stood over her -- making no attempt to assist her. Torrey said that she could not move her leg and repeatedly indicated that it was broken."

Lilian Cubi tied the curtains so that Torrey couldn't grab them, and they left Torrey on the floor.

It was 7 a.m. when paramedics responded to a request to help get Torrey into bed.

"The co-defendants did not mention that she had fallen out of bed at 4:30 a.m. and instead reported that she had a light assisted fall (which is contradicted by the video footage)," the probable cause statement said. "At the time, likely due to dementia -- Torrey did not indicate any concerns to the EMTs that her leg was broken -- even though she repeated(ly) verbalized that a few hours earlier."

Torrey's granddaughter visited later that morning.

Lilian and Santana Cubi told her there had been a pillow behind Torrey's back and that the fall was slow and controlled, which the video contradicts.

The granddaughter asked why the family wasn't told about the fall after it happened, and Santana Cubi told her: "It was witnessed and did not result in any injury," the probable cause statement said.

At a cardiologist appointment later that day Torrey couldn't put weight on her leg, which was swollen. Her foot was at an odd angle, and she said she was in pain.

She was treated for a complex femur fracture and apparently died from complications 11 days later.

Torrey's roommate told the granddaughter that Torrey had been on the floor until 7 a.m., which prompted her to check the video and contact police.

"It haunts me," the granddaughter, Natasha Rowe, told The News Tribune outside court. "... We thought she was getting good care."

Asked about her grandmother, Rows said: "She was selfless and feisty and nurturing and took care of everybody else her whole entire life."