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Woman facing neglect charges appears in court

By Jan Gregorson

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

A Rochester woman facing criminal neglect charges in connection with the care of her mother, who later died, made her first appearance in Olmsted District Court Thursday.

Laura Lee Fritts, 63, is one of three people charged with gross misdemeanor criminal neglect. A warrant had been requested for Fritts, who originally was set to be in court Monday.

She appeared before Judge Jodi Williamson this morning, was released on her own recognizance and cannot leave the state without written court approval. She has requested an evidentiary hearing, which is set for Oct. 15.

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Fritts was licensed to operate an adult foster care facility in February, when the criminal neglect allegedly occurred. The 79-year-old victim was admitted to the Olmsted Medical Center emergency room on Feb. 9. She died Feb. 12. When admitted, staff said she had an ulcer on the tailbone that was infected. The coroner later listed that as a contributing cause of the woman’s death.

In addition to Fritts, others charged included the victim’s sister, Kathleen Elizabeth Bryan, 62, of Kensett, Ariz., who already has been in court and pleaded guilty. An employee, Gloria Kay Darlene Graham Gleason is to make her first court appearance July 28.

The county suspended Fritts’ adult foster care license on Feb. 26.

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