DEDHAM, Mass. (AP) -- A former caregiver accused of failing to help a disabled woman who fatally choked on a piece of steak at a Massachusetts group home has pleaded not guilty.
Fifth-seven-year-old Annie Kwankam of Birmingham, Ala., was arraigned Thursday in Norfolk Superior Court on manslaughter and related charges. A judge set $20,000 cash bail.
Prosecutors said Kwankam walked away as Lauren Wolf stood up at the table, signaled she was choking and asked for help before falling. She later died.
Wolf's cousin, Sharon Chastain, says that Wolf was "a sweet person" who had psychological disorders but wasn't aggressive.
The state-funded home in Milton is operated by Vinafen Corp. A spokeswoman said Kwankam was trained in CPR and first aid, and left the job soon after an internal investigation of Wolf's 2009 death.