Managers of an Assisted Living Facility Indicted; 69-Year-Old Resident Dies after Two Days Without Air Conditioning

CHANDLER - Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a State Grand Jury indicted two managers of a Chandler assisted living facility after the death of a 69-year-old resident who spent two days inside the home-based facility without air conditioning.

Joseph Somera, 56, and Lolita Somera, 56, are each charged with one count of Vulnerable Adult Abuse, a class 3 felony. The defendants manage and operate Happy Homes Assisted Living Facility located at 2120 West Shannon Street in Chandler, AZ. The indictment alleges that the defendants recklessly endangered the health of the 69-year-old victim, a vulnerable male, who lived in their care.

On August 16, 2018, the air conditioning at the facility failed, leaving the five residents without air conditioning. On August 18, 2018, at 11:45 am, Lolita Somera called 911 to report that the victim was non-responsive.

The Chandler Police Department investigated the case and documented that the temperature inside the home was 94 degrees. The temperature in the victim’s room was 100 degrees. The air conditioning had not worked in the home for 48 hours. The victim was pronounced dead at 11:54 am. The victim had lived at the facility since May of 2018.

The Maricopa Medical Examiner’s Office determined the cause of death was end-stage renal disease complicated by acute pneumonia. The contributory cause of death was environmental heat exposure.

Assistant Attorney General Shawn Steinberg and Maureen Feeney are prosecuting this case.

All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.

Full copy of the indictment.

For additional information, members of the media may contact Mia Garcia, Director of Media Relations at (602) 339-5497 or Mia.Garcia@azag.gov.

Mugshot: Joseph Somera (pictured below)

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Mugshot: Lolita Somera (pictured below)

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