Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General's Office Files Motion to Revoke Probation of Former Community Presence Caregiver

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 08, 2010  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control today announced that they have asked Carter Circuit Court to revoke the probation of a former Community Presence caregiver. Last May, Branden Starostka, from Grayson, was sentenced to five years in the Kentucky Department of Corrections for wanton abuse of a vulnerable adult and tampering with physical evidence. Starostka was initially sent to prison, but in October, the court granted his motion for shock probation.

Prosecutors from General Conway's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control this week filed a motion to revoke Starostka's probation based on his new conviction of unlawful transaction with a minor in the 3rd Degree.

In 2008, Matthew Bortles and Starostka were indicted in Carter Circuit Court in connection with the death of Michael Price, a mentally handicapped adult who was under the care of and resided at Community Presence, Inc. On October 14, 2007, Bortles laid on the victim's back for more than 30 minutes using an improper restraint. This caused the victim to stop breathing and ultimately caused his death. While this was occurring, Starostka watched television and failed to intervene. After the victim died, Bortles and Starostka attempted to conceal evidence by cleaning up the victim's blood, concealing a bloody pillow and placing the bloody washcloth in the washing machine.

Bortles was convicted of manslaughter in the 2nd Degree, wanton abuse of a vulnerable adult, and tampering with physical evidence. He is currently serving an eight year sentence in the Kentucky Department of Corrections.

Investigators from General Conway's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control division assisted the Grayson Police Department in the investigation of the case and the arrests of both defendants. The Attorney General's office is also handling the prosecution of this case at the request of the Carter County Commonwealth's Attorney's office.

Branden Starostka
Branden Starostka