MARTINEZ, Calif. (KRON) — An assisted living worker at Atria Walnut Creek was charged with elder abuse for the death of a 94-year-old resident, prosecutors announced Friday.

Lateshia Sherise Starling, 54, of San Pablo, faces one count of elder or dependent adult abuse resulting in the death of Constantine Canoun on August 31, 2022.

According to prosecutors, when Starling was in charge of caring for Canoun, she “willfully caused and permitted him to be placed in a situation in which his health was endangered and knew and reasonably should have known that Canoun was an elder and dependent adult.”

Canoun resided in the Memory Care Unit at Atria Walnut Creek and suffered from dementia. On the night of August 23, he was rushed to John Muir Medical Center after ingesting all-purpose cleaning solution, prosecutors said. He suffered excruciating pain before he died on August 31 from injuries to his stomach, esophagus, and throat.

Canoun was one of three Atria elderly residents who died within the same week from suspected poisonings.

Canoun’s son said Atria Park of Walnut Creek employees initially tried to blame his death on eating Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Canoun in fact died from drinking “heavy duty” cleaning solution that he believed was a glass of red wine, Cary Canoun said.

“These kinds of injuries that my dad suffered in no way shape or form can be caused by Flaming Hot Cheetos,” Cary Canoun said. His father was eating lunch in a dining hall unattended when he consumed the cleaning fluid, according to Cary Canoun.

Following an investigation by the Walnut Creek Police Department, the incident was referred to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. Starling will be arraigned on January 31. She is currently in custody at Martinez Detention Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Atria Senior Living is a company that supports more than 200 locations nationwide. Atria operates three facilities in the East Bay and five across the South Bay and Peninsula.