Woman pleads guilty to federal charge in Missouri death

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The fourth member of a Missouri family has pleaded guilty to a federal charge related to the death of a developmentally disabled man whose body was found encased in concrete in Missouri.

Mary K. Paulo pleaded guilty Tuesday to an obstruction of justice charge in the case of Carl DeBrodie, 61, whose body was discovered in a storage unit in Fulton in April 2017. Authorities believe he died months before he was reported missing and his body was found. Paulo’s parents and brother pleaded guilty earlier to charges related to his death.

Paulo was a caregiver at Second Chance Homes in Fulton, where DeBrodie had lived since 2008. In her plea agreement, Paulo said in August 2016, she took another resident of the home to a medical appointment, where she told people he was DeBrodie, then obtained a prescription in DeBrodie’s name.

Paulo said after being told not to report to work for several months, she returned to the home in the fall of 2016 and noticed DeBrodie was no longer there. In April 2017, shortly before Second Chance Homes was sold to another company, Paulo signed several documents saying she had cared for DeBrodie for the previous nine months, although she had not.

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According to the plea agreement, Paulo took those actions at the request of her mother, Sherry Paulo, who also worked at the home.

After DeBrodie was reported missing, Paulo gave a false statement to Fulton police saying she had seen him alive on April 16, 2017, according to the plea deal.

Sherry Paulo and her husband, Anthony Flores, previously pleaded guilty in federal court to civil rights violations stemming from DeBrodie’s death. They still face state charges, including involuntary manslaughter and several lesser charges, in his death.

Mary Paulo’s brother, Anthony R.K. Flores, earlier pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction charge. He also pleaded guilty in February 2019 to a state charge of making a false report and was sentenced to eight months in prison.

A lawsuit filed by DeBrodie’s mother alleged that he and another resident at Second Chance were required to do manual labor and fight each other for the entertainment of others at Sherry Paulo and Anthony Flores’s home. The lawsuit alleged DeBrodie, who was already seriously ill, died after the couple left him bleeding and injured in a bathtub. It alleges they then disposed of his body in the storage unit. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum.

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