JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The woman who federal prosecutors said was “most culpable” in the death of a developmentally disabled Missouri man was sentenced Tuesday to 17 1/2 years in prison on federal charges.
Prosecutors said Sherry Paulo led a scheme that caused the death of Carl DeBrodie in Fulton and then persuaded others to help cover up his death.
DeBrodie was a developmentally disabled resident of Second Chance Homes of Fulton when he was reported missing in April 2017. His remains were found a week later in a storage shed in Fulton but investigators determined he had died months earlier.
During the sentencing hearing Tuesday, federal attorney Julia Gegenheimer said Paulo was “the most culpable person” in the events leading to DeBrodie’s death, The Jefferson City News-Tribune reported.
U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes said Paulo’s case is “one of the most deplorable, depraved and disturbing” he has heard.
He told Paulo that DeBrodie “had the misfortune of being placed with you” and said her sentence was “specific deterrence” to ensure she can never do something like it again.
Paulo’s husband and their two children also have pleaded guilty to federal charges in DeBrodie’s death. Paulo and her husband, Anthony Flores, still face state charges in the case.
They all worked at Second Chance Homes in Fulton when DeBrodie was a resident there. Federal prosecutors said DeBrodie died after months of abuse and being confined to a dark room in Paulo’s house with no running water or fresh air.
He also was not given medication or treatment for his illnesses for months before he died. Paulo told police she watched DeBrodie stop breathing but did not attempt to help him or call for medical help.
She pleaded guilty in November to willfully failing to provide necessary medical care and health care fraud for continuing to submit Medicaid claims after DeBrodie died. Paulo also was ordered to pay the government $106,795 for the Medicaid claims.