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Long IslandCrime

Court denies appeal from Medford nurse in death case

The Medford Multicare Center at 3115 Horseblock Rd.

The Medford Multicare Center at 3115 Horseblock Rd. in Medford is shown on July 31, 2014. Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin

A state appellate court has affirmed the conviction and sentence of a Medford nurse who was convicted in 2015 of falsifying business records as part of an attempt to cover up the true cause of death of a patient five years ago.

The decision, issued Wednesday by the Appellate Division Second Department in Brooklyn, means Victoria Caldwell, 54, may soon surrender to authorities to begin serving her 45-day sentence, which was temporarily suspended while she appealed.

“Obviously, she is disappointed,” said Caldwell’s appellate attorney, Felice Milani of the Suffolk Legal Aid Society.

Caldwell was one of nine health care workers at Medford Multicare Center for Living convicted of either failing to help the ventilator-dependent resident, Aurelia Rios, 72, of Central Islip, or attempting to conceal the real cause of her death in 2012.

Although Caldwell had no role in Rios’ care and only became involved when one of the workers had asked her to check on Rios, state prosecutors said she helped with the attempted cover-up.

Milani said Caldwell didn’t get a fair trial because State Supreme Court Justice John B. Collins in Riverhead tried Caldwell with three co-defendants.

“She just got grouped together with the others,” said Milani, who plans to petition the state’s highest court to take the appeal, the Court of Appeal in Albany.

Milani said she will meet with Collins and prosecutors from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman’s office in a few weeks to decide whether Caldwell will remain free while she appeals or begin serving her jail time.

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