Nursing home victim’s daughter wants attacker institutionalized

Posted at 6:19 PM, Jan 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-03 18:20:12-05

KENT COUNTY, Mich. -- Brenda Hayes said she wants more done to protect others after her father's death in an assisted living facility. Since criminal charges were not pressed against his killer, she wants Kenneth Conley committed to an institution.

"I felt like my dad wasn't given any justice," Hayes told FOX 17.

She said her father's stay at the Samaritas assisted living facility in Kentwood was supposed to be short term. However, it ultimately led to 81-year-old Dan McBrian's death at the hands of his roommate. Kenneth Conley, 61, suffered from dementia. He punched McBrian. The blow led to a broken jaw, many complications and rapidly declining health.

"It was like he was living in his own hell," Hayes explained.

The medical examiner classified McBrian's death as a homicide. In the fall, Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker said because Conley suffered dementia and early signs of Alzheimer's disease pressing charges and putting him in the criminal justice system would serve no purpose.

Hayes said, "People are in danger now of him. If he's been aggressive once and with his strength, when's he going to strike out again?"

She said she called the Attorney General's office about the case and was told by the head of the criminal division more could be done outside of criminal charges.

"He felt I had a case and that this case... he does not know why Chris Becker did not turn it over to the probate court and petition them for a civil commitment," Hayes said.

By definition, a civil commitment is a "post-sentence institutional detention of an offender with the intention of preventing further offenses."

Hayes said, "Something needs to be done. How do you know he's not going to do this to someone else?"

"That's not an excuse. The dementia's not an excuse," she said.

Kent County prosecutor Chris Becker told FOX 17 he doesn't have "the power to refer this case to probate court without a certification from a mental health professional." He said, he wouldn't expect a certification in this case. Even if Conley was referred for civil commitment, Becker said he'd be sent away for 60 days and then returned to a setting similar to where he is now.