Worker charged in connection to Evergreen Assisted Living Home fire pleads not guilty

An employee pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges in connection to the Evergreen Assisted Living Home fire.

News 12 Staff

Jul 6, 2021, 9:48 PM

Updated 1,075 days ago

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An employee pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges in connection to the Evergreen Assisted Living Home fire.
Manuel Lema, 47, pleaded not guilty to criminal impersonation and obstructing governmental administration.
Court documents say Lema called Rockland County Sheriff’s Office to request that the fire alarm system for Evergreen be taken offline and placed on test mode.
Lema also contacted the sheriff's department to falsely identify himself as "Enrique,” another employee at Evergreen, according to the court documents.
"This is a horrific incident. The outcome is devastating not just for families involved but for others involved, as well. He wants to do the right thing and assist in any way that he can," says Jonathan Ripps, Lema’s attorney.
The case is expected to appear before a grand jury in the near future.
An arrest warrant remains in effect for the facility’s director, Denise Kerr.


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