FUQUAY-VARINA, N.C. (WNCN) — A former assisted-living employee was charged with murder after a resident died, according to the Fuquay-Varina Police Department.

Police said on Sept. 24, Cynthia Williams Sellars, of Benson, who was an employee at the time at Windsor Point Retirement Community, was involved in an assault while working at the facility in Fuquay-Varina.

Officers responded to the retirement community after receiving a call indicating that a facility worker was in a verbal altercation with a resident.

Police said Lillie Johnson Cooper, 88, was pushed onto the floor by Sellars. Cooper sustained a serious injury from her fall and was transported to WakeMed Hospital in Cary for further medical attention.

Lillie Johnson Cooper (Courtesy Tonya Carroll)

According to arrest warrants, Sellers was initially charged with assault on individuals with a disability for pushing Cooper, causing her to fall and break her left hip bone.

Police said Cooper died from her injuries after her fall. The North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner conducted an investigation.

The medical examiner indicated the manner of death was deemed a homicide with the assault being the main cause of death.

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After reviewing the information from the Chief Medical Examiner’s report, interviewing witnesses, and consulting with the District Attorney’s office, Sellars was charged with one count of murder.

Sellars had her first court appearance on Wednesday at the Wake County Justice Center. According to the judge, she could receive life in prison without parole or the death penalty as the maximum offense.



Her next court appearance is November 15 at 9 a.m.

Sellars is currently at the Johnston County Detention Center under no bond.

To report elder abuse, contact your local Department of Social Services or call the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services CARE-Line toll free in North Carolina at 800-662-7030. For more information about protecting seniors, click here.