Crime & Courts

Columbia senior care facility owner charged in death of resident, deputies say

Betty Miles
Betty Miles

Months after being accused of neglecting seniors in her care, a Columbia woman has been charged in the death of one of her patients, according to a statement from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department.

Betty Miles, 74, was charged Tuesday with neglect of a vulnerable adult resulting in death, adding on to her four previous counts of abuse, according to the statement.

Miles is charged in connection with the death of Henry Harmon, who passed on June 27 at Miles Residential, according to the statement. The business was owned and run illegally by the woman, who’s license was suspended by the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation in November 2016.

The death was under investigation by the sheriff’s office when Miles was initially arrested in July, according to a previous report in The State. Investigators were awaiting a ruling from the Richland County coroner before charging Miles.

The investigation into abuse began July 2, when the owner of an assisted-living facility told deputies that two patients at Miles Residential Care were not being properly cared for and were severely underweight, according to previous reporting in The State.

Shortly after, Miles was charged with abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult, and four patients were taken from the home and placed into emergency protective custody.

Miles had a history of run-ins with state agencies. During inspections of the facility in 2016, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control found residents living in unusually low temperatures, orderlies not keeping written records on residents, expired medications and unclean equipment.

Miles is being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center.