Fargo caregiver charged with manslaughter out on $500 bond

Rachel Cooper mugshot
Rachel Cooper mugshot(Cass County Jail)
Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 2:55 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - UPDATE: The Fargo memory caregiver accused of a deadly assault on one of her patients earlier this month is out of jail on a $500 bond.

59-year-old Rachel Cooper is charged with manslaughter and endangering a vulnerable adult in the death of 78-year-old Gary Pearson.

Bond was set for her last Friday at $5,000, which allowed her to pay 10 percent in cash to bail out of jail. Cooper was also required to give up her passport as a condition of her bail.

Fargo Police say they were called shortly after 6 p.m. on Aug. 3 to Maple View Memory Care at 4552 36th Ave. S., for an assault.

Cooper stated shortly after midnight that same day, she was cleaning Pearson’s bathroom when she and Pearson started struggling over the bathroom door. Surveillance video showed Cooper push Pearson which documents say caused Gary to fall backwards on the ground and into the hallway. However, in a written statement to Maple View officials, Cooper stated Pearson fell while she was cleaning the bathroom and she only found him on the ground. Cooper stated she helped Pearson into bed, which Maple View officials told police is against policy.

Cooper later told police that Pearson was keeping her from getting out of the room that night and she struggled with him. Documents say she told investigators she pushed Pearson with one hand and he tripped and fell.

Documents say Pearson suffered a broken hip as a result of Cooper’s push.

Police state surveillance video shows Cooper pushing Pearson with both hands, which helped lead medical examiners to determine Pearson’s death as a homicide. Documents say because of Pearson’s broken hip, he never returned to ‘base line,’ which caused his health to continue to deteriorate until he died on Aug. 19.

Cooper will be in court again on Sept. 22.

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