Stephens City woman charged in patient’s death at health care center

A Stephens City woman was charged Thursday with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 15-year-old patient at a health care facility in Loudoun County.

Melanie A. Lewis, 47, was a nurse at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare when the teenage patient died after he was allegedly  restrained by William P. Herndon, 47, of Martinsburg, West Virginia, a mental health technician at the facility.

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the facility on Nov. 19 for an assist rescue call and reportedly found a juvenile male, unresponsive and not breathing. He was transported to a local hospital where he later died.

The state medical examiner determined the victim died of positional asphyxiation.

According to a Sheriff’s Office news release, “Further investigation determined Lewis, a registered nurse at the facility, failed to intervene when the restraint was incorrectly administered.”

Herndon was arrested Jan. 16 and was released the next day on a $5,000 secured bond.

As of Friday at noon, Lewis was still being held without bond at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center without bond.