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Joshua Russell (photo) was charged with severe manslaughter by the death of John LaPointe in Seminole on May 9

Florida Down syndrome man dies in the back seat of his hot car while his caregiver slept on drug overdose

  • Joshua Russell, 26, has been charged with severe manslaughter for the death of the disabled man John LaPointe, 35
  • Russell worked in a group home where LaPointe – who had Down syndrome and was non-verbal – lived
  • On May 9, Russell took LaPointe to a doctor's appointment before stopping at his house and taking two packages of Kratom, leaving LaPointe in his van
  • Russell returned to his van and quickly fell asleep, killing LaPointe in the backseat of the vehicle when the temperature reached 125 degrees
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A home-worker from the Florida group was arrested after a disabled man he cared for died in the back seat of his hot van.

Joshua Russell, 26, was charged with severe manslaughter on Friday by the death of John LaPointe in Seminole on May 9.

According to police, Russell was working at the Pinellas crossroads, where he took care of LaPointe – who had Down syndrome.

LaPointe was non-verbal, hard of hearing and had the cognitive capacity of a 1-year government claim.

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On May 9, Russell took LaPointe to a doctor's appointment in his van before deciding to stop at his own house while transporting LaPointe back to the group home.

Joshua Russell (photo) was charged with severe manslaughter by the death of John LaPointe in Seminole on May 9

John LaPointe (photo) died while under Joshua Russell's care

John LaPointe (photo) died while under Joshua Russell's care

Joshua Russell (left) was accused on Friday of exacerbating manslaughter by the death of John LaPointe (right) in Seminole on May 9

He left LaPointe in the vehicle and went inside, where he told investigators that he had taken two packages of Kratom – a plant that naturally grows in Southeast Asia and affects the same opioid brain receptors as morphine.

Although it is not currently illegal, the FDA has warned the public not to take the substance – which is easily purchased on the internet and often used for recreational purposes.

& # 39; When (Russell) entered the house, he told detectives that he had two packets of Kratom & # 39; parachuted & # 39; by wrapping powdered Kratom in toilet paper and swallowing Kratom, & # 39; Sheriff told Bob Gualtieri Spectrum news on Friday.

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Russell felt tired and reportedly took the material to wake himself up.

However, he told the researchers that after he started driving back to the group's house, he continued to feel sleepy, so he stopped taking a nap.

He woke up two or three hours later in the hot van covered in sweat.

At that time, he would not have found LaPointe and would fall in the back seat.

Police said Russell was working at the Pinellas crossroads, where he took care of LaPointe - who had Down syndrome

Police said Russell was working at the Pinellas crossroads, where he took care of LaPointe - who had Down syndrome

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Police said Russell was working at the Pinellas crossroads, where he took care of LaPointe – who had Down syndrome

According to researchers, the temperature in the van has risen to around 125 degrees Fahrenheit (51.6 degrees Celsius).

Russell frantically tried to perform CPR on the disabled man, but he couldn't be revived.

Russell returned to his house to get his gun to kill himself before calling his mother who was also a Crossroads or Pinellas employee.

She spoke to him out of self-harm and called 911 to help.

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Russell was released after his indictment and will appear in court later.

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