Original Case Details
Lakeside Academy is a youth center that focuses on helping troubled youths who exhibit negative behavior or get in trouble. Three staff members from this center are being charged with homicide for the death of a 16-year-old boy named Cornelius Fredericks. Fredericks was physically restrained by staff members for 12 minutes. This caused him to lose consciousness and become unresponsive. Witnesses stated that Fredericks was foaming at the mouth and appeared to be choking on his own tongue. Fredericks was transported to the hospital where he died two days later of cardiac arrest. There is video footage of this incident which has not been released to the public.
The three staff members, Michael Mosley, Zachary Solis, and Heather McLogan all stand charged with involuntary manslaughter for the death of Cornelius Fredericks. Mosley and Solis are accused of knowingly harming Fredericks by laying across his abdomen while restraining him. McLogan is accused of gross negligence for failing to perform her legal duty as a nurse to obtain medical care for Fredericks. All three defendants are also charged with second degree child abuse. Involuntary manslaughter carries up to 15 years in prison upon conviction, while child abuse in the second degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The original reason for Fredericks being restrained was because he threw a sandwich in the Academy cafeteria.
Duty to Maintain Care
The family of Cornelius Fredericks has also filed a civil lawsuit in the amount of $100 million for the wrongful death of Fredericks. The lawsuit is claiming negligence against Lakeside Academy which caused the death of Fredericks. This case has drawn comparisons to the George Floyd case, which has led to this case receiving national attention. Fredericks was not only restrained for 12 minutes; it also took an additional 12 minutes after he was let go before any nurses or staff decided to try to help him with medical care.
In a negligence case, the person/plaintiff who is claiming another’s negligence has to prove: 1) that they were owed a duty of care by the defendant, 2) the defendant breached that duty of care in some way, and 3) that breach caused harm to the plaintiff that entitles the plaintiff to money damages. In this case, Fredericks’ family is suing Lakeside Academy for failing to protect and failing to render aid to their son, who died at the hands of Lakeside Academy employees who restrained him until he was unconscious.
What Happens Next?
The three Lakeside Academy staff members will next face the preliminary examination in their cases. A preliminary exam is a probable cause hearing that is meant to determine if a case has probable cause to continue to trial. A prosecutor has to prove to a district court judge that there is both probable cause that a crime was committed, and probable cause that the defendant committed that crime. If the judge determines that probable cause exists, the case will then continue to circuit court for additional court hearings and a potential trial. If the judge decided that there isn’t probable cause, the case will then be dismissed entirely.
At the same time this criminal case is progressing, the civil lawsuit against Lakeside Academy will also progress.
Any Further Questions?
If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime or being investigated for one, then it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately. At Grabel & Associates, our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending criminal cases all over the state of Michigan. This experience extends not only to adult cases, but also to juvenile charges. We are not a general practice firm. We are a team of criminal defense attorneys; it’s all we do. We offer a FREE consultation to anyone with questions relating to a possible or existing criminal charge against them or a loved one. Feel free to contact us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide locations. We can also come to you.