Almost four years ago, a story out of Georgia shocked and enraged many Americans. The case involved a World War II [VIDEO]veteran named James Dempsey, an 89-year-old man who died while a patient at the Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation Center. Thanks to a hidden camera left by Dempsey's family, internet and television viewers watched in horror as Dempsey died while asking for help from staff nurses. Shockingly, the video revealed not only that the nurses failed to follow basic CPR procedures, but that several of the women cracked jokes while Dempsey gasped his final breaths. On Wednesday (Feb. 21), some of these women received homicide and neglect charges.

A report by FOX News provided most of the information used in this article.

The accused include Loyce Pickquet Agyeman, Wanda Nuckles, and Mable Turman. Agyeman has been charged with felony murder, Nuckles has received a charge of depriving an elder of essential services, and Turman is currently facing a serious charge of neglect. The Brookhaven Police Department of Brookhaven, Georgia have credited the Dempsey family's video with helping them to bring the 2014 case to trial.

The case of Dempsey's death received extra momentum late last year when the 2015 testimony of nursing supervisor Wanda Nuckles was released to the public. In the video, it can be seen that the nurses stopped giving Mr. Dempsey chest compressions. Such an action is forbidden unless an order is given by a doctor.

Nuckles at first claimed that she gave continuous chest compressions, but the hidden camera video showed otherwise. The video also shows that Dempsey's vital signs were not properly checked after CPR was performed. When asked why she and other nurses were laughing during the ordeal, Nuckles claimed ignorance.

Died while screaming

In the hidden camera video, Dempsey, who served his country as a member of the US Navy during the Second World War, can clearly be seen screaming (or rather choking) out calls for help. The somewhat slow response to Mr. Dempsey's cries has been sighted in the charges against all three nurses. In 2015, when the tape became known to officials at Northeast Atlanta Health and Rehabilitation, they decided to keep the three nurses on staff for ten months. Only at that time were the nurses fired. Indeed, Ms. Nuckles and one other nurse did not hand in their nursing licenses to the Georgia Board of Nursing for several months after the firing.

In another video deposition, Mable Turman cited the rehabilitation center's staffing issues as one of the reasons for Dempsey's demise.

Turman, who was at Dempsey's side as he died, told lawyers that she did not notice that the 89-year-old man's was slowly losing consciousness. Both Turman and Nuckles, the latter of whom has labeled herself as "Queen of Resident's Rights," waited a full hour after Dempsey's initial call for help to phone 9-1-1.

Frightening finale

The death of James Dempsey is, tragically, not terribly unusual. According to the Nursing Home Abuse Guide.org, a full 40 percent of America's 3.2 million nursing home residents will suffer some kind of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse while in care. More than one-quarter of these crimes are never reported to the police. One statistic even states that in one out of every three nursing homes in the United States, some form of elder abuse occurs.

James Dempsey's tragic death only came to the public's attention thanks to a hidden camera. Thousands, possibly even millions of elderly citizens have suffered similar fates without drawing any media attention whatsoever.