Alleged Shooter That Caused Eight Carthage, North Carolina Nursing Home Deaths to Go on Trial

July 11, 2011, by Michael A. DeMayo

Jury selection is scheduled to begin today in the criminal trial of Robert Kenneth Stewart, the man accused of entering a Carthage, North Carolina nursing home and fatally shooting eight people (seven residents and a male nurse) and injuring three others on March 29, 2009. Stewart is charged with eight counts of criminal murder, two counts of attempted murder, and other criminal counts. His estranged wife, Wanda Stewart, says she believes he had gone to Pinelake Health and Rehab to look for her.

Because of the publicity surrounding the shooting, Stewart’s lawyer sought to have the criminal case moved out of Moore County. A judge has since ruled that jurors would come from Stanley County but that the trial would be held in Carthage. Some 750 people have been placed on notice for possible jury duty. Also expected to be at the proceedings are the families whose loved ones Stewart fatally shot (a number of these loved ones have already filed a Carthage wrongful death lawsuit accusing the nursing home of North Carolina nursing home negligence and providing inadequate security).

A complaint filed by the estates of John Goldston, Louise DeKler, Lillian Dunn, and Margaret Johnson claims that Wanda Stewart warned administrators that an attack by Stewart on her was “imminent.” They also believe she told them her husband was in an “unstable mentally state” and possessed firearms.

The day the shooting happened, Stewart was at the Alzheimer’s special care unit, which is locked 24 hours/day and can only be accessed by entering a passcode on a key panel. Meantime, the rest of the facility allegedly remained “readily accessible by anyone” while patients and their families were never warned about the possible threat that Stewart posed. The families have also named Wanda as a defendant in their case. They are accusing her of negligence, including the failure to warn the victims about her husband.

Families claim Carthage nursing home knew of potential attack, WRAL, July 11, 2011

Stewart Trial Set to Start, ThePilot, July 11, 2011

Related Web Resources:
NC Department of Health and Human Services

Licensed Facilities: NC Division of Health Service Regulation

More Blog Posts:

Forsythe County, North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence?: Resident Who Drowned in Puddle in 2009 is Identified by Police, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, June 16, 2011

Over 18,000 Reports of North Carolina Elder Abuse and Neglect Made in 2010, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, May 9, 2011

North Carolina Nursing Home Negligence Alleged in Wrongful Death Lawsuits of Shooting Victims’ Families, North Carolina Injury Lawyer Blog, December 21, 2010



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