A former nurse at a women's jail in East San Diego County accused of neglecting an inmate who died pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter charges Friday.
Inmate Elisa Serna complained of dizziness and nausea before was moved to the jail’s Medical Observation Unit. She then fell in the defendant Danalee Pascua’s presence, according to the District Attorney's Office.
The DA’s office alleges that after Serna fell, Pascua did not take Serna's vitals left her in the jail cell on the floor for about an hour before performing life-saving measures.
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Pascua’s Attorney Alicia Freez described her client as someone who always cares for her patients and wouldn't neglect them.
“Her care for people, when you look at her resume and you speak to individuals everywhere, she wants to give care,” Freeze said.
Close to 50 supporters of Pascua's attended the arraignment. If convicted Pascua faces up to four years in jail.
Pascua remains free and as a condition of her release, she must be booked and then released by Dec. 12.
Pascua also can not practice as a nurse, and must also attend all future court proceedings. There will be a readiness hearing on Feb. 17, 2022, and a preliminary hearing on Mar. 22, 2022.