A Staten Island psychiatric facility supervisor has been charged with strangling an autistic patient to death last winter. Erik Stanley, a 37-year-old developmental aide supervisor, surrendered to police today in connection with the death of Jawara Henry, who died of asphyxia by neck and chest compression.
Henry, 27, died on December 4 while staff members at the South Beach Psychiatric Center were trying to subdue him. The death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner, and an eight-month investigation followed. Ultimately, SI District Attorney Daniel Donovan came to the conclusion that Stanley, "did not follow protocol nor use proper techniques while trying to restrain Henry...and caused Henry's death by using excessive pressure on the patient's neck and torso."
Henry had been at the Staten Island facility for about a year at the time of his death; according to family lawyer Gary Douglas, he functioned at the level of a young child but had no history of outbursts. Henry's mother had said at the time that she had seen other bruises on her son, and added she couldn't "believe that something like this can happen in this day and age and in this city...He didn't deserve to be murdered like this."
Stanley will be charged with criminally negligent homicide and endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disable person.