The article of Montaldo reports about the recent ruling of a trial court in Wayne County, with respect to a criminal case involving a 9-1-1 operator who had been neglectful in the performance of her duty (Montaldo, 2008). In the said case, a boy aged five and named Robert Turner called 9-1-1 two years ago, when her mother suffered from a heart attack. Robert called 9-1-1 twice and sought assistance because his mother passed out, but two Detroit 9-1-1 operators did not pay attention, believing Robert’s call was only a prank call.
The two Detroit operators did not believe Robert. The first one hung up on him and thought he was merely playing games, while the second operator threatened and sent police to arrest Robert (Montaldo, 2008). Thus, three hours after Robert’s first 9-1-1 call, his mother, Sherrill Turner, was found dead in their home. The cause of the death was heart attack from an enlarged heart. Thus, the two operators who received Robert’s calls were charged with willful neglect of duty (Montaldo, 2008).
After trial, the first operator, Sharon Nichols, who believed Robert was making a prank call, was found guilty of willful neglect of duty. Her defense, consisting of the statement that she could not hear Robert at the end of the line, was brushed aside by the trial court. The court reasoned out that such defense negates the fact that Nichols believed Robert’s was a prank call, a belief that could not have occurred if it was true that Nichols did not hear Robert.
Thus, Nichols was found guilty of willful neglect of duty, while her friend was acquitted because she actually sent police to the boy’s house and therefore did not exactly commit neglect of duty (Montaldo, 2008). References Montaldo, C. (2008). 9-1-1 Operator Guilty for Ignoring Call. Retrieved January 20, 2008, from http://crime. about. com/b/2008/01/20/9-1-1-operator-guilty-for- ignoring-call. htm