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2 face neglect charges in MS patient's death,1,6870975.story?coll=chi-newslocalnorthshore-hed

June 22, 2004
Barbara Bell
Chicago Tribune

A Lake Barrington man and a caregiver have been charged with three counts of criminal neglect to a disabled person in the death of the man's wife, who had multiple sclerosis, authorities said Monday.

Laurel Pappas, 47, died May 20 in Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington. She had been admitted a week earlier for dehydration and malnutrition, Lake County Coroner Jim Wipper said. An autopsy showed she died of pneumonia.

Her husband, Christopher Pappas, 48, of the 25000 block of Apache Lane, and Robyn Bulava, 40, of the 100 block of Kohl Avenue, Spring Grove, are charged with failing to tend to Pappas' health needs, not providing sufficient food and failing to care for her skin, according to the indictment.

Pappas and Bulava were indicted last week by a Lake County grand jury. They are scheduled to be arraigned July 1 before Circuit Judge Christopher Starck. If convicted, they could face a maximum of 5 years in prison. Both are free on $30,000 bail.

A coroner's jury also is scheduled to convene July 1 and could decide that Laurel Pappas' death was a homicide, an accident or the result of natural causes, Wipper said.

Laurel Pappas, who had end-stage multiple sclerosis, was being cared for at home, Wipper said. She weighed 90 pounds when she died and was 5 feet 6 inches tall.

Pappas had ulcers on her body that were caused by not being moved while she was bedridden, Wipper said.

Initially, prosecutors charged Pappas and Bulava with a misdemeanor, but the charges were upgraded to a felony when Laurel Pappas died, court records show. The Sheriff's Department had begun an investigation after she was admitted to the hospital, according to court records.

A sheriff's spokesman and a representative of the state's attorney's office declined to comment.

Attempts to reach Pappas were unsuccessful, and Bulava declined to comment.

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