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Posted on: February 8, 2022

Home Health Aide Charged in Death of Garden City Senior

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Gail Godwin allegedly struck client in the head and let him bleed to death, failing to call 911 for hours

MINEOLA, N.Y. – Nassau County District Attorney Anne T. Donnelly announced that a home health aide was arraigned on manslaughter and other charges in the death of a client under her care in December 2021.

Gail Godwin, 62, of Bay Shore, was arraigned before Judge Robert A. Schwartz on indictment charges of manslaughter in the second degree (a C felony); assault in the second degree (a D violent felony); endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person (an E felony); and tampering with physical evidence (an E felony). The defendant pleaded not guilty and bail was continued at $150,000 cash, $200,000 bond, or $2 million partially secured bond. Godwin is due back in court on March 3, 2022. If convicted of the top charge, the defendant faces a potential maximum of up to 15 years in prison.

“This home health aide was hired to care for John Busch, but instead she allegedly caused his death by hitting him on the head with an object and failed to call 911 for hours after he was injured,” said DA Donnelly. “My office will protect seniors and we will hold anyone who harms vulnerable individuals responsible for their actions.”

District Attorney Donnelly said that, according to the indictment, on December 27, 2021, the defendant, a home health aide, allegedly struck 83-year-old John Busch over the head at his home in Garden City, causing him to bleed profusely. Responding police found Busch on his bedroom floor with a pool of blood under his head. 

Blood was also found throughout the house, in the living room and hallway, and a garbage bag full of bloody clothes and towels was recovered from the garbage can outside the home. The defendant allegedly did not call 9-1-1 for assistance until after the victim was already dead. 

Godwin was arrested by detectives of the Nassau County Police Department Homicide Squad on December 28, 2021. 

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Nicole Aloise of the Homicide Bureau. The defendant is represented by Bruce Barket, Esq.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty. 


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