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Judge sentences Baltimore woman for operating unlicensed assisted living facilities, role in death of vulnerable adult

A Baltimore woman was sentenced this week to two years of home detention for operating two unlicensed assisted living facilities, from which a vulnerable adult went missing in 2019 and was later found dead.

Asa Ene Ita, 59, pleaded guilty to charges of first- and second-degree negligence of a vulnerable adult, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh announced Friday. The Attorney General’s office contends that Ita failed to provide supervision and essential medical treatment to two vulnerable adults in her care.

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Ita, who is not a licensed health care provider, was operating the facilities in March 2019 when a resident disappeared from the North Luzerne Avenue location. The adult was found dead two days later.

Prosecutors say Ita failed to contact police or the victim’s family until more than 12 hours after the victim had disappeared. Police also found more than 100 bottles of prescription medication for individuals in her care, most of which were still full, suggesting she was not administering the medical treatment, prosecutors said.

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Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Althea M. Handy sentenced Ita to five years in jail, suspending three years on count one and six months on count two. The judge also sentenced Ita to five years of supervised probation.

She will serve her sentence on GPS-monitored home detention due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a condition of Ita’s probation, she is banned from working with vulnerable adults or children.

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