A home care aide in Montana is facing a series of charges for an assault that took place in an elderly client’s home. Neighbors reported to police that they heard a loud argument and, some time later, a fire began moving through the residence. Holly Lasher was reported to have told those neighbors to not help the elderly woman, who was struggling to get out of her house.
There are many details of this case that are still being investigated and there was no initial report on whether Ms. Lasher was working as an independent caregiver or for an agency. It also wasn’t clear for how long she’d been taking care of the aging senior. The victim’s name was not made public.
As noted in an Associated Press article, Home health care worker charged with arson, published by the Seattle Times:
“District Judge Elizabeth Best set bail at $100,000 for 41-year-old Holly Lasher. She did not enter pleas to charges of arson and assault with a weapon.
Neighbors reported hearing a verbal fight Wednesday before the fire started. The woman told investigators that Lasher had assaulted her and threatened her with a knife before starting a fire.
The elderly woman tried to crawl out of the house and neighbors helped her out.
Prosecutors say Lasher reportedly told a neighbor to leave the woman in the house.
Prosecutors and a public defender agreed Thursday a mental health evaluation was needed to determine if Lasher was fit to stand trial.”
There was no immediate word on what may have preceded the confrontation or what words were exchanged. It’s unclear if Holly Lasher was able to post bond or when a mental health evaluation would be completed.
Home care aides are hired most often to help support aging and disabled men and women, to help them get around the house and perform some basic tasks of everyday life. It was not made public what level of support and assistance the victim in this case required. Nor did authorities make public comment regarding any injuries the victim may have sustained.
The full scope of this case is likely to be disturbing for many who may require in home care support services in the future, and while there may have been no public record or prior criminal history for Ms. Lasher, it raises numerous questions as to how she came to be caring for the victim and what other challenges she may have been facing at the time and, more importantly, if there were any warnings leading up to this alleged assault.