He claimed to be the patient’s brother. Roger MacKinnon’s life started to unravel with the loss of his wife Mary, who died when the Groundhog Day tornadoes of 2007 laid waste to the couple’s Lake County home.
“He lived by himself and would sit on the porch. I’d try to talk to him and he wouldn’t talk to nobody. Just heartbroken,” said neighbor Jim Mayse.
On May 30, 2011, MacKinnon had chest pains, and asked Richard Leclair — described by MacKinnon’s family as a long-time friend and drinking buddy — to take him to the hospital. During an exploratory procedure, MacKinnon’s heart stopped.
For three days, he was in and out of a coma, then completely comatose for the next three. On June 7, police say Leclair and his wife met with MacKinnon’s doctor and authorized the hospital to withdraw life support.
MacKinnon died two days later. “Family members didn’t have an opportunity to pray for him. They didn’t get to be there when he passed. He was alone when he died,” said family attorney Phil Partridge.
The MacKinnon family attorney showed WESH 2 News a “do not resuscitate” order Leclair signed, identifying himself as MacKinnon’s stepbrother. And on a “withdrawal of life support” order, Leclair claimed to be MacKinnon’s brother. Partridge says the hospital never asked for proof of Leclair’s identity.
“Mr. Leclair knew that Roger had a son and a daughter. He had a real brother,” said Partridge. “Leclair told the hospital he had no other living relatives.” DeLand police say Leclair had been named beneficiary to MacKinnon’s bank account, and after the widower’s death, he collected $106,000.
Days before MacKinnon’s family even knew he was dead, police say Leclair went to MacKinnon’s home and removed thousands of dollars of furniture and lawn equipment.
“He said he was Roger’s brother, and Roger wanted him to have that stuff,” said Mayse. Lake County investigators charged Leclair with grand theft and trespassing.