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Home Health Aide Gail Godwin Faces Manslaughter Charges In Death Of 83-Year-Old Patient John Busch

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A home health aide on Long Island has been arrested and accused of killing the man she was supposed to be taking care of.

On Wednesday, she faced a judge in Nassau County.

Monroe Street in Garden City remained quiet, with just one police car in a driveway, but it was a much different scene Monday night, CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis reported.

"There were 15 police vehicles out here," neighbor Paul Falabella said.

They were responding to the home of a longtime neighbor, 83-year-old John Busch.

"Between Christmas and New Year's I'd bring him cookies," Joanna Falabella said.

Police say late that afternoon, his home health aide, 62-year-old Gail Godwin, struck Busch in the head with a wooden object. Since he was on prescribed blood thinners, which Godwin was allegedly aware of, Busch began bleeding profusely.

"Gail Godwin did not call for an ambulance, did not get any further medical attention for this man, and instead attempted to clean up the blood around the house caused by her assault," Nassau County Police Homicide Squad Det. Sgt. Stephen Fitzpatrick said.

A home health aide for 42 years, Godwin was the victim's aide for 18 months.

According to the felony complaint, he couldn't care for himself as he was suffering from multiple diseases, including Alzheimer's.

"Apparently, the victim was in an elderly state. He was aggressive at times and she just lost her temper," Fitzpatrick said.

Godwin is accused of not calling for medical assistance until Busch died.

Attorney Bruce Barket is representing Godwin.

"She didn't call the police initially because he was mobile and actually moved around and seemed OK. Once it became apparent that there was a problem, she called the police," Barket said. "It seems like it's a tragic accident that took place."

Busch's neighbors say he loved golfing and gardening, but over the past few years his health declined and they didn't see much of him, nor did he have many visitors.

"Sad for a lonely man like that to have to end his life that way," Joanna Falabella said.

Godwin has been charged with second-degree manslaughter, endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, and tampering with physical evidence. She remains behind bars.

She entered a plea of not guilty. She is being held without bail and due back in court on Jan. 3.

Editor's note: This story was first published Dec. 30.

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