Nurse charged with manslaughter released on bail

May 26, 2001|By A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 51-year-old nurse accused of killing an elderly patient at Franklin Square Hospital Center by prying apart her locked arms was released from jail yesterday on $20,000 bond.

At a bail hearing before Baltimore County Circuit Judge Thomas J. Bollinger Sr., the lawyer for Ethel B. Barlow argued that she was no danger to the public and would show up for trial.

Richard Karceski, Barlow's lawyer, also said his client is a widowed mother of three grown children and has no criminal history.

She suffered a stroke about six months ago, is on blood pressure medication and will receive better medical care from her physician than in the Baltimore County Women's Detention Center, Karceski said. "She's been entirely cooperative with the authorities," he added. Barlow will stay with her 32-year-old son, Patrick Barlow, at his home in Memphis, Tenn., Karceski said.

Barlow, a licensed practical nurse, was working for a nursing agency that assigned her temporarily to Franklin Square at the time the elderly woman died, said Assistant State's Attorney James O. Gentry.

Barlow is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of Ruth F. Bowen, 81, who was admitted to Franklin Square on Oct. 30 for a swallowing disorder.

Bowen also suffered from Parkinson's disease and a disorder that caused her arms to be locked across her chest. Police allege that Barlow entered Bowen's room Nov. 2 and straightened her arms, tearing Bowen's biceps and causing her death four days later from severe hemorrhaging.

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