Rachel Wede Cooper, 59, was set to appear Wednesday, Sept. 22, in Cass County District Court on felony charges of manslaughter and endangering an eligible adult. The hearing was canceled after she waived it and entered not guilty pleas to the charges on Sept. 16.
Cooper was arrested last month after police alleged she pushed Maple View Memory Care patient Gary Pearson at the facility. Cooper was cleaning Pearson's bathroom at 12:30 a.m. Aug. 3 before she and Pearson struggled over the bathroom door, according to a Fargo Police Department report filed in court.
Maple View leadership told police Cooper wrote a statement that said Pearson fell, which contradicts video that shows the nurse pushing Pearson with two hands, the police report said. The push caused Pearson to fall backward and break his hip, prosecutors alleged.
Cooper later told police Pearson was keeping her from getting out of the bathroom, the report said. After he fell, she put him to bed, which goes against Maple View policy that says staff are not supposed to move residents when they fall, according to the report.
Pearson, who was at the facility after being diagnosed with dementia, was unable to remember the incident, the report said. He died Aug. 19 from the injury at age 78, prosecutors said.
Court documents alleged Cooper recklessly caused his death. She faces up to 10 years in prison for the two charges.
Her next hearing is scheduled for Nov. 24. Cooper has been released from jail on bond.