El Dorado Hills school and staffers indicted in death of 13-year-old autistic boy

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A now-shuttered Sacramento-area private school for special needs students and three of its former employees have been indicted in connection with the 2018 death of a 13-year-old autistic boy, who was held in a face-down restraint for nearly two hours, authorities said.

Guiding Hands School, former Principal Starrane Meyers, administrator Cindy Keller and teacher Kimberly Wohlwend were indicted on one charge of involuntary manslaughter by a criminal grand jury on July 15, said Savannah Broddrick, a spokesperson for the El Dorado County district attorney’s office. All three have pleaded not guilty.

The November 2018 death of student Max Benson sparked headlines. Sheriff’s officials said Max turned violent and while restrained by school officials stopped breathing. A staff member performed CPR until emergency responders arrived.

Benson was transported to a Folsom hospital before being transferred to UC Davis Medical Center, where he later died.

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