The Mississippi Link
In light of the national headlines regarding teens in Minnesota charged with nursing home abuse, and the fact that just this week, the Mississippi State Attorney General released two press notices regarding arrests pertaining to nursing abuse in Mississippi, just how safe are Mississippi nursing homes or any nursing homes for that matter? How wide spread is nursing home abuse in the Magnolia State? How can this problem be solved?
Below are copies of the Attorney General’s Office press releases:
Nurse Assistant Charged with Abuse of Vulnerable Adult Patient
December 9, 2008
Jackson, Miss. —A worker at a Jackson nursing home has been arrested and charged with felony abuse of a vulnerable adult , announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Nicole A. Williams, age 38, of 235 Fairbanks Street in Jackson, was indicted by a Hinds County Grand Jury on one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult. She was arrested yesterday at her home by Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office.
Williams was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at Manhattan Nursing Home in Jackson when the incident occurred. “The allegations are that she struck
the patient, an elderly woman, in the eye causing pain and suffering,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.
If convicted, Williams faces up to 20 years in prison and up to a $1,000 fine.
As with cases, the charge is merely an allegation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Two New Albany Caregivers Arrested in Vulnerable Adults Investigations
December 5, 2008
JACKSON, Miss. — Two caregivers at a nursing home in New Albany have been arrested and charged for crimes involving vulnerable adults, confirmed Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Investigators with the Attorney General’s Office arrested both women yesterday.
Cynthia Hunt, age 46, of 1148 County Road 86 in New Albany, was arrested on two counts of felonious abuse of a vulnerable adult after being indicted by a Union
County Grand Jury. On the first count of the indictment, Hunt is accused of
administering medication to a patient at Graceland Care Center in New Albany which resulted in pain and suffering of the vulnerable adult. On the second count of the indictment, Hunt is charged with pouring aftershave on the genitals of a patient at Graceland Care Center which resulted in and suffering of the vulnerable adult.
Hunt was employed as an LPN by the facility when the alleged offenses took place.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of not more than 20 years on each count and a fine of $10,000 on each count (total max: 40 years and $20,000 in fines).
Kathy Brooks, age 59, of 213 South Guyton Street, Blue Mountain, MS, was arrested on two counts of acquiring possession of a controlled substance by misrepresentation, fraud and the like, after being indicted by a Union County Grand Jury.
On both counts of the indictment, Brooks is charged with acquiring the substance hydrocodone on one or more occasions from Graceland Care Center in New Albany by falsely representing that she had provided medication to separate residents, knowing the medication had not been provided to the residents.
Brooks was employed as an LPN by the facility when the alleged offenses took place.
If convicted, she could face not less than one year nor more than five years in prison and fined up to $1,000 or both.
Both women turned themselves into the Union County Sheriff’s Office where bond was set at $10,000 ($5,000 for each count).
“Any person found guilty of torturing a disabled person or stealing their pain medications leaving them to suffer should receive little mercy for such sinful crimes,” said Attorney General Jim Hood.
As with all cases, the charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
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