Mother left sobbing, no charges will come of son's group home death

November 16, 2018 05:11 PM

News10NBC just learned that no one is going to be held criminally responsible for the death of a young man inside a state-regulated group home. 

The Monroe County grand jury decided not to indict any of the aides in connection with the death of Luis Minllety. 


It was the reporting by News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean that played a role in getting the case presented to the grand jury last month. 

The grand jury elected not to charge anyone with Luis' death even though the death certificate says "homicide."

Minllety lived inside a group home on Avenue A that was run by the Ibero-American Action League. 

He died inside the home last December.

News10NBC did a series of investigations into his death including an interview with his mother six months later.

In June, she told News10NBC that no one was helping her, and no one was talking to her. 

"I couldn't believe that my son died with no explanation," Mildred Gonzalez said.

After that interview, she started getting calls from the Rochester Police and Monroe County District Attorney's office. 

But now, five months later, there is still no explanation. 

The DA's office shared the grand jury decision in a conference call Friday morning with Luis' mother and her lawyer. 

Scott Charnas, attorney: "And she was devastated and she started sobbing when the assistant district attorney first told her."

News10NBC obtained the official certificate of death from the Monroe County Medical Examiner's office.

The box marked "homicide" is checked.The other options included natural cause, suicide or undetermined circumstances. 

The ME's office confirmed on Friday that it believes Luis died from compressive asphyxiation, meaning he stopped breathing because of pressure put on his chest or stomach. 

But for some reason, that wasn't enough for the grand jury. Grand jury cases are confidential. 

News10NBC Chief Investigative Reporter Berkeley Brean: "When you and I spoke in June, you said you want to get to the truth. Are you any closer to the truth? 

Charnas: "No, not at all. And so we now realize that we have to take steps to try to get to the truth, if anyone is going to get to the truth."

Charnas says that means a private autopsy and a lawsuit.

Brean: "Is it possible that Luis just died tragically and no one is responsible for his death?"

Charnas: "Anything is possible. It seems difficult to believe that a 24 year old in perfect physical health should suddenly perish for no reason."

News10NBC reached out to the DA's office and Ibero for comment. 

Julio Saenz, the chief communications and development officer at Ibero, gave the following statement Friday: 

"Ibero strives to provide quality care to all the people we serve and work to constantly expand the skills of our staff. Many of the individuals we serve have been with us for a decade or more and they are all like family to us." 

Meanwhile, the DA's office says it cannot comment because anything said in the grand jury is not public. 

Charnas says he needs a judge's order to be able to do a private autopsy. He says he's working on that and the lawsuit now.


Berkeley Brean

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