A woman who operated a La Cresta care home where a 17-year-old physically and developmentally disabled girl died from alleged abuse and neglect is slated to be arraigned Thursday on a murder charge.
Michelle Louise Morris Kerin, 80, and her husband, 79-year-old Edward Lawrence Kerin, came under investigation in 2019 following the death of Diane “Princess” Ramirez at the defendants’ care facility, the Morris Small Family Home.
Along with murder, Michelle Kerin was indicted for child endangerment likely to cause great bodily injury, abuse of a dependent adult and lewd acts on a dependent adult. Her husband was charged identically — with the exception of the murder count.
He is free on a $35,000 bond.
Michelle Kerin is being held on $1 million at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and is set to appear at the nearby Southwest Justice Center.
Edward Kerin is scheduled to be arraigned there on Dec. 17.
According to the District Attorney’s Office, Diane Ramirez began suffering from undisclosed health complications on April 6, 2019, resulting in bloody vomit, poor vital signs and pain that lasted for hours.
Michelle Kerin allegedly “refused to seek help for Diane” despite her condition, according to a DA’s office statement.
The girl died the same day.
The ensuing investigation, which involved agents from the state’s Community Care Licensing program, sheriff’s deputies and DA’s office personnel, uncovered numerous alleged irregularities and criminal acts, prosecutors said.
“Many of the victims were non-ambulatory and unable to speak, requiring 24-hour care,” according to the agency statement. “Some of the adult dependent residents were found to lack the mental capacity to give consent, but engaged in sexual activities facilitated and encouraged by both defendants.”
The number of alleged victims was unclear.
The care home’s license was suspended.
Neither defendant has documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.