Nurse charged in death of H.R. McMaster's father at Philadelphia senior facility

Christann Gainey faces 10-20 years in jail for involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment.

Kristen Johanson
May 10, 2018 - 2:09 pm
Christann Gainey

Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced charges this afternoon against a Roxborough senior care facility nurse who was responsible for taking care of the father of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser.

Christann Shyvin Gainey, 30, was charged in the death of 84-year-old H.R. McMaster Sr., who died April 13 about eight hours after falling and hitting his head at the Cathedral Village retirement community. He was found on the floor bleeding from his head and shoulder.

She's being charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment in connection to the death. McMaster was brought to the facility three days before he fell to be treated for a stroke, and there was supposed to be an hourly check on him for a period of 72 hours. 

RELATED: Authorities investigating death of former national security advisor's father

Surveillance video showed that Gainey failed to conduct that series of neurological evaluations, Shapiro said. Prosecutors say she falsified documents to make it appear she had  not just after McMaster's death, but prior neurological checks via protocol. "Gainey could have saved Mr. McMaster's life," Shapiro said.

An aide noticed McMaster was on the floor and notified Gainey, according to the affidavit. 

"She intentionally ignored her job responsibilities, falsified paperwork and lied to her supervisors to cover up this inexcusable conduct," Shapiro said.

He said a family should be able to expect their loved to be cared for when they move someone into a nursing home. "They don't expect their loved one to be found dead in the lobby of a place that was supposed to care for them," he said.

Attorney Martin Kardon specializes in elder abuse and is working with the McMaster family.

"What I've been tasked with and what the family wants to know is why it happened," he said. "Inevitably, it ends up with the system that’s in place."

Gainey has been taken into custody. She faces 10 to 20 years in jail if convicted. 

It wasn't immediately known if Gainey, who worked at the facility as a contract employee, had an attorney to comment on her behalf. 

McMaster was a retired U.S. Army officer. His son served as Trump's national security adviser from February 2017 until March 22, when he resigned.

The Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office said last month that McMaster died of "blunt impact head trauma."

Facility officials said last month that they were cooperating with investigators. They also said they contacted the Health Department and launched an internal investigation. The AG’s office took over prosecution because of the involvement of the health department. 

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KYW Newsradio's Mike Dougherty and the Associated Press contributed to this report.