Saturday, September 3, 2022

Did This Nurse Exploit an Elderly Man?

By Nancy J. Brent, MS, JD, RN

In past blogs, I have written about nurses being disciplined by state boards of nursing, including for unprofessional conduct and for falsifying documentation.

In the following case, an RN’s license is revoked for a violations of the state nurse practice act, including: violation of her duties, mental or physical inability to practice in a safe and competent manner, and a lack of good moral character.

RN’s relationship with the elderly man

The RN met a 75-year-old widower, who was suffering from cancer and moved into his home.

According the case details on, the nurse told the elderly man that she was a nurse, was homeless, and that they could help each other.  She became a “home assistant” for the man, helping with cleaning, cooking, shopping, and other household chores.

The man spent “substantial” sums of money while the RN was living with him and added the RN onto his checking account and multiple lines of credit.

The man desired to have a romantic relationship with the nurse, but these feelings were not reciprocated. When the RN decided it was time to move out of the home, she took the man’s car and left him stranded at a hotel for multiple days. She also took money from the joint checking account.

The elderly man moved in with one of his daughters after these incidents, and the daughter helped him obtain a personal protective order (PPO) against the nurse. The daughter also obtained guardianship and conservatorship over her father.

The RN’s conduct was reported to the licensing board. An investigator from the licensing board interviewed the man and his daughters. He lived with his daughter until his death.

Licensing board proceedings

An administrative complaint was filed by the licensing board, alleging the violations stated earlier. The board also ordered a summary suspension of her license. The nurse petitioned to have the suspension terminated.

A hearing on the complaint was held after several months. The hearing examiner issued a Proposal for Decision finding that the RN violated her general duty obligations and lacked good moral character, and did not have a mental or physical inability to practice in a safe and competent manner.

The nurse filed objections to the proposal, but the licensing board entered a final order adopting the hearing examiner’s findings and revoked the RN’s license.

The RN filed an appeal to the state court of appeals.

Appeals court’s analysis and decision

The RN presented many objections to the licensing board’s decision. Her first objection was that it had no jurisdiction to hear the case because there was no connection between her relationship with the elderly man and her practice as a nurse. The court disagreed with her position, stating that she had used her status as an RN to “exploit and defraud” the man.

The RN pointed out her many arguments and testimony at the licensing board’s hearing, which contradicted the testimony of the man’s daughters and the information he shared with the investigator. Even so, the appeals court opined that her arguments and testimony were “inconsistent, illogical, and largely self-serving,” while the testimony of the daughters, the man’s physician, and the investigator were more “consistent, logical and reasonable,” which made their testimony more credible.

Moreover, the court continued, there was “substantial, competent, and material evidence supporting the determination of the hearing officer that the RN lacked good moral character.”

The RN also argued that her due process rights were violated because the relationship was consensual. Again, the court held that there was no consensual relationship based on the evidence presented in the hearing. Thus, no constitutional violation of her due process rights occurred.

The determination of the licensing board’s decision was affirmed.

What to remember from this case

The conduct of the RN in this case was egregious. However shocking it may be, this type of exploitation can happen in varying forms when anyone takes advantage of a vulnerable elderly person.

The nurse was able to win the man over fairly easily because she had a nursing license.

It is important to note that the revocation of the RN’s license was possible despite the fact that she had not been practicing nursing for many years (though she said she was a “caregiver” for the elderly man and probably did provide some type of “care” for him).

The appellate court’s decision supports the recent decisions of boards of nursing that once you are licensed, you must always act as a licensed professional, even though the alleged violation of your nurse practice act does not have a nexus to the practice of nursing.

Examples of disciplinary actions in which there is no connection to the practice of nursing include:

  • Failure to re-pay student loans
  • Failure to pay taxes
  • A conviction of driving under the influence (DUI
  • The misuse of social media

Had the RN been actively practicing nursing for this man, another basis upon which her license could have been disciplined would have been for breaching professional boundaries, which is a form of unprofessional conduct.

If you provide nursing care to a  vulnerable elderly person or any vulnerable patient be certain to maintain a nurse-patient relationship consistent with your legal and ethical duties. For instance:

  • Document the care you provide carefully and accurately.
  • Don’t engage in any conduct, however well-meaning (such as doing banking for the patient, purchasing any item or food with the patient’s money), that may later be viewed as exploiting the person or could be seen as examples of poor morale character.
  • Don’t move in with a patient or have a patient move in with you.
  • Don’t become romantically involved with a patient.
  • Don’t accept access to a patient’s bank or other financial account.

And maintain professional conduct at all times with those with whom you come in contact, patients or otherwise.

Full Article & Source:

2 men charged after elderly person found in “unsanitary” Clayton County home


The Clayton County Police Department is investigating an elder abuse case.

Lamarkist Barnette, 47, and Tywone Ivey, 40, are facing charges of exploitation of the elderly or a disabled person.

The charges stem from an investigation at a home in the 3900 block of Village Crossing Lane in Ellenwood. Investigators said the victim’s condition was extremely poor from the lack of care.

Officers said the home was unclean and unsanitary. Insects and feces were seen throughout the entire house. They also stated that there were numerous substances on the floors and wall.

The victim was taken to a local hospital for immediate medical attention.

The investigation is ongoing.

Full Article & Source:

Friday, September 2, 2022

Bill to reform California conservatorship system headed to governor’s desk

Legislation would make it more difficult to establish a conservatorship and easier to get out of one

Britney Spears’ attorney, Mathew Rosengart appears outside the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2021, in Los Angeles. A judge on Wednesday suspended Spears’ father from the conservatorship that has controlled the singer’s life and money for 13 years, saying the arrangement “reflects a toxic environment.” (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

By Tony Saavedra

A landmark reform of California’s flawed probate system, spotlighted by the troubled Britney Spears case, is headed to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 1663, sailed unanimously through both houses of the state Legislature this week, promising relief to the elderly and disabled trapped in never-ending and potentially exploitive conservatorships. Newsom has until Sept. 30 to make a decision.

Conservatorship is a tool in probate court by which professionals appointed by a judge can decide, among other things, where people live, how their money is spent and even who they can talk to. Some activists argue that state prisoners have more civil rights than someone under a conservatorship.

Sponsored by Assemblyman Brian Maienschein, D-San Diego, the bill makes it more difficult to establish a conservatorship, easier to get out of one and promotes alternatives to court. It also codifies the use of supported decision-making, which basically is seeking informal help in making decisions rather than jumping to conservatorships.

“It’s a landmark concept,” said Maienschein, whose bill received little if any opposition. “We really had to educate people. (Conservatorship) is complicated.”

Judy Mark, president of the statewide group Disability Voices United, called the bill “a game-changer.”

Mark said there is a belief among judges, fiduciaries and lawyers that conservatorships are among the only options for the elderly and disabled who need help making decisions, creating a pipeline to probate court.

“What (the bill) is doing is putting a giant plug in that pipeline,” she said.

When used properly, probate can be a way to protect the elderly and disabled from physical and financial bullying by family, friends and associates. But the process also can open the door for predatory professionals to exploit their clients, eating through their life savings and assets and walling them off from family.

In Santa Ana, for example, court-appointed conservators drained a retired judge’s savings and then forced her into a jumbo reverse mortgage on her $1.8 million house in Newport Beach to keep the money flowing.

Also in Santa Ana, a conservator sold part of his client’s real estate to the owner of a land brokerage where the conservator worked. The conservator then tried to collect a $9,800 commission on the sale.

And then there is the Spears case, where her right to make decisions was taken away and given to her father — sparking a nearly 13-year battle that ended in 2021 when her conservatorship was finally ended.

Maienschein said he witnessed abuses in the system while serving as a law clerk for a probate judge.

“It was personal for me,” he said. “I was young and working in conservatorship court. It left a big impression on me.”

Maienschein added that his bill, in essence, will educate people on their rights before and during probate proceedings, making it easier to modify or exit a conservatorship.

His bill also would promote “supported decision making,” helping disabled or elderly people avoid conservatorships altogether. Under Maeinschein’s proposal, conservatorship would be a last resort.

Mark, of Disability Voices United, explained that supported decision making is basically seeking help in making choices, perhaps from a trusted friend or family member.

“The courts are not involved, you don’t have to pay for a lawyer … and you do it informally,” she said. “It’s an empowerment tool as opposed to conservatorship, which is about disempowerment.”

Full Article & Source:

Protesters Demand Further Investigation After Alameda County Grand Jury Report Ignores Flagrant Probate Abuses

Cathy Rodriguez was denied the conservatorship of her aunt, 88-year-old Mildred Rodriguez, despite sharing ownership of the mobile home they lived in. Mildred’s estate was handed over to a public guardian because of a dispute between Cathy and a cousin, Rose Rivera, who had placed the mobile home and Mildred’s retirement and assets in her name.

Samantha Durrell shows before and after pictures of her mother under the “care” of her court-appointed guardian.

By Tanya Dennis

The release last month of Alameda County’s Grand Jury report charging deficiencies in the Alameda County Probate Court system has set off a firestorm of activity by probate reform groups that say the report did not go far enough.

Affected family members and activists gathered outside of the Alameda County Supervisors Administration office Aug. 11 to protest the failure of the Grand Jury to address the families’ losses of their loved ones and their estates.

According to the protesters, the Grand Jury report failed to address the ongoing enrichment of court-appointed guardians or conservators to the detriment of conservatees and their families.

“Protesters want the presiding probate judge, Charles Smiley, the Grand Jury and the County Board of Supervisors to genuinely consider their complaints of guardianship abuse and reopen the Grand Jury investigation,” said Venus Gist of California Justice.

Samantha Dussell and Cecily Dussell were among those outside the courthouse. “I’m out here protesting today because my mother’s civil rights were violated,” said Samantha Dussell. She and her daughter, Cecily Dussell, had filed a verified petition to remove the public guardian from their mother/grandmother, Rosalie Hope Sifuentez.

“In every aspect of my mother’s life, there has been a lack of common sense and integrity and contempt for her that has been used in making decisions for her daily care, health care, emotional and spiritual needs and living environment,” Samantha said.

Also protesting was Doris Lilly who alleges that the estate of her aunt, 97-year-old Christine Williams, was taken and sold by the man who prepared Williams’ taxes.

Lilly said that Williams’ tax preparer utilized his access to Williams’ documents, changed her will, her power of attorney, placed his name on her accounts, then sold her $800,000 home for $605,000, gave $100,000 to two nephews and has not been held accountable by the court to report what happened to the $405,000 balance of her estate despite requests from the family.

Cathy Rodriguez was denied the conservatorship of her aunt, 88-year-old Mildred Rodriguez, despite sharing ownership of the mobile home they lived in. Mildred’s estate was handed over to a public guardian because of a dispute between Cathy and a cousin, Rose Rivera, who had placed the mobile home and Mildred’s retirement and assets in her name.

Rather than assist Cathy in returning the assets she shared with Mildred, the conservator reported to the court that Mildred did not trust Cathy, despite a hand-written note by Mildred that she did not like the care facility she was in and wished to live with Cathy.

Rivera, the Public Guardian, filed a complaint claiming Cathy’s behavior was disruptive and prohibited her from having any contact with her aunt.

“The system is abusing my auntie and keeping her in prison with no contact with the outside world,” Rodriguez says. In a video recording, Mildred states “I want out of here. I want out of this place. I don’t like staying here and being with these people, I want to live with Cathy.”

Full Article & Source:

Trial underway in Albany elderly exploitation case

Video from WALB

 By Riley Armant

ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - The trial for an Albany woman accused of exploiting elderly people is underway.

Michelle Oliver is standing trial after she was charged with taking checks from people but not taking care of them. She is facing a jury on operating an unlicensed personal care home, multiple counts of deprivation of services to elderly and disabled adults and exploitation of disabled adults.

The trial comes five years after Oliver was arrested in September 2017. Oliver is representing herself in court.

Several officers and state employees testified on Tuesday. All of them described the living facilities and the residents as dirty, unkempt and hungry. 

“As soon as I came in there, I knew it was an unlicensed facility,” Leisha Lavender, a witness, said.

Officials said there are multiple witnesses and law enforcement officers involved in the case.

Oliver is currently representing herself during the trial and being prosecuted by the state.

Full Article & Source:
Trial underway in Albany elderly exploitation case 

Thursday, September 1, 2022

Netflix Must Face Defamation Suit Over ‘Dirty Money’ Episode

by Janet Miranda

Netflix Inc. and others lost their bid to escape a defamation lawsuit over a “Dirty Money” episode, when a Texas appeals court said Wednesday the show misrepresented the facts of a businessman’s guardianship when presenting it as abusive.

“Dirty Money” is an investigative series that bills itself as exposing greed and corruption. Tonya Barina is the great-niece and guardian of Charles Thrash, a millionaire who made his money from an automotive repair business. Barina sued Netflix claiming the gist of the episode “Guardians, Inc.,” which aired in March 2020, defamed her.

The 79-year-old Thrash was presented in the episode as being capable of taking care of himself, with the help of his girlfriend, Laura Martinez. However, court records indicate Thrash suffers from Alzheimer’s disease that leaves him “totally incapacitated” and unable to enter into a contract or marry, the Texas Fourth Court of Appeals said.

During the episode Martinez, who is erroneously referred as his common law wife, and others speak for Thrash, the appeals court said. However, the defendants were aware that these speakers were found not to be credible by the trial court in Thrash’s guardianship case, it added.

The episode uses its score and dramatic animations to indicate that guardianship abuse is an epidemic that must be exposed, the court said. Barina’s interview is presented differently than others by zooming in on her hands and feet to show her fidgeting, and cutting away to highlighted documents or statistics to suggest inconsistency.

An ordinary viewer would reasonably conclude that Barina is meant to be portrayed as an exploitative guardian who sold Thrash’s assets as his family and friends tried to stop her, Justice Patricia O’Connell Alvarez wrote.

Nexflix contended that they can’t be held liable simply for reporting the accusations made by Philip Ross, Martinez’s lawyer. But the third-party allegation rule requires a media outlet not take the additional step of adopting or endorsing the allegations, the court said.

The trial court therefore didn’t err in denying Netflix’s motion to dismiss, the San Antonio appellate court said.

Justices Irene Rios and Beth Watkins joined the opinion.

Haynes & Boone LLP represented Netflix, Jigsaw Productions LLC, Muddy Water Productions LLC, Martinez, Ross, and the other defendants. Glenn Deadman of San Antonio and Carl J. Kolb of Austin represented Barina.

The case is Netflix Inc. v. Barina, Tex. App., 4th Dist., No. 04-21-00327-CV, 8/31/22.

Full Article & Source:
Netflix Must Face Defamation Suit Over ‘Dirty Money’ Episode

Alzheimer's: Who Is Caring for the Caregivers?

By Sydney Murphy and Consumer news HealthDay Reporters
MONDAY, Aug. 29, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Katherine Sanden drove over 1,400 miles, from California to Nebraska, to care for her beloved uncle after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's in November 2020, but seeing him after years apart was more devastating than she could have ever imagined.

Like Sanden, many family caregivers are thrown into the deep end with little to no experience helping someone with Alzheimer's. Though some find outside support to help them navigate health care systems, Sanden struggled to get that for her uncle in Nebraska.

After living with him in a small town for three months, Sanden found herself needing to learn ways to advocate for her uncle Larry. The 50-year-old was faced with a completely different health care system than the one she knew in California.

Sanden described the two states as drastically different worlds. “It’s like living on two separate planets as far as services and what care is available," she noted.

One of the major challenges: Sanden had to jump through hoops to transfer his care to California after moving her uncle to her home earlier this year. Her social worker, whom she found through a local resource center, offered Sanden much needed guidance on navigating the health care system. Sanden also took a class and met with a lawyer to get help completing the paperwork necessary to transfer his care from Nebraska to California, and then she filed for conservatorship after her uncle's son gave up guardianship in Nebraska.

“I didn't have a social worker or an advocate in Nebraska, I had to do everything,” said Sanden.

The move across state lines has been financially challenging: Besides relying on her savings to support herself, her uncle needed a new bank account set up by his caregiver when they moved. But in California, banks only recognize conservatorships.

“I contacted my social worker, I don't even know what to do. I don't even know where to start. I don't know who to talk to. So, I was very grateful for her because she's like, this is ridiculous. It's just been ... a little bit of a nightmare,” Sanden said.

The emergence of COVID-19 only made it harder to care for loved ones with Alzheimer's.

“During the pandemic, we saw a huge increase in our care consultation need because support groups were meeting virtually and education programs were delivered virtually, so that meant many constituents couldn’t participate,” said Elizabeth Smith-Boivin, executive director of the Alzheimer's Association's Northeastern NY Chapter.

Smith-Boivin described how devastating some calls to the association’s helpline were at the beginning of the pandemic. In one call, a man who was caring for his wife said he's tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, he was trying to isolate from his wife, who couldn’t understand why he needed to distance himself from her. She kept knocking on his door and crying, begging for him to come out, but he couldn’t.

Added burden of COVID-19

“The calls like this at the beginning of the pandemic were heart-wrenching,” said Smith-Boivin.

Sanden also shared the struggles she faced while caring for her uncle during the pandemic.

“People don’t understand how difficult it is to meet someone’s needs who can’t articulate his own, doesn’t know what his needs are and has absolutely no control over how he feels,” she said.

According to Smith-Boivin, what the Alzheimer’s Association has learned is that they never fully understood the impact of social isolation. Health care providers and support organizations had no idea how devastating not only the emotional and mental impact of this would be, but the physical impact as well: The United States saw an 8.7% increase in the national death rate for Alzheimer's in the first year of pandemic alone.

Though some deaths could have been due to undiagnosed COVID-19 cases, the Alzheimer’s Association recently launched a study looking at how the new coronavirus may affect the brain, and dementia risk, in the long run.

Though there are support groups offered across the United States, the major challenge introduced in 2020 was the necessity to make them virtual due to social distancing and travel bans. That left those who were not technologically savvy out in the cold.

And although home health aides can provide support for caregivers, the pandemic has led to a shortage of these critical health professionals.

Take Nebraska, for example: The number of home health and personal aides in Nebraska dwindled from 11,890 to 7,720 in 2020. That forced thousands to become caregivers for their loved ones. In 2020, more than 11 million Americans provided an estimated 15.3 billion hours of unpaid care with little or no mental health support.

“What we often had to do was teach family members techniques of caregiving,” said Smith-Boivin.

With no prior experience caring for a sick loved one, Sanden relied on books to teach herself how to care for her uncle on her own. She read “The 36-Hour Day,” a guide to caring for people who have Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.

“I’ve had to adapt and overcome. Every day is the same, but every day is a different day,” said Sanden.

Teaching themselves how to cope

After learning that scheduling activities and forming routines throughout the day can be helpful, following a morning schedule became a daily routine for Sanden and her uncle. Sanden quit her job as an accomplished chef to take time to spend with her uncle. She relied on her savings to support herself because she couldn't work while caring for Larry. She said that she tried to keep a strong composure, though it was hard to stay calm a lot of the time.

“Any opportunity I get to act like a nut and jump around and make him laugh and mimic me – that’s been our saving grace,” Sanden said.

While caring for her uncle was an opportunity for Sanden to get to know him on a deeper level, it took a toll on her own mental health. She described her anxiety about the signs of her uncle’s rapidly declining health.

“I know he’s not getting better. I know he will never get better. With him not eating, it has stressed me out beyond belief because I’m not ready,” Sanden said.

Sanden was in therapy for six years and learned ways of coping with the stress that she feels as a caregiver. She routinely practiced yoga and took her two dogs, a Husky and a Border Collie, to the park with her uncle to get fresh air.

Sanden spoke about the hardships she faced and the emotional impact caring for Larry had on her.

“It’s watching somebody deteriorate with no choice in it. It’s really frustrating in retrospect," she said. "He has a condition that will never improve.”

Sanden recognizes she is fortunate to have family members who support her in any way they can. “I’m lucky that I have my mother and I have my partner who support me. There are a lot of people out there who don’t have people supporting them. I have resources here in California, but while living in Nebraska, I had none,” she said.

The problem is pressing: As the number of older Americans grows, so will the number of Alzheimer's cases, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. By 2050, the number of people over 65 with Alzheimer’s may grow to a projected 12.7 million, escalating the importance of improving support for family members and loved ones stepping in as caregivers.

Watching her loved one near the end of his life was heartbreaking for Sanden. “I didn’t want to watch him suffer. I wanted to make sure he passed comfortably,” she said. He did, dying peacefully earlier this summer while surrounded and supported by family and friends.

Sanden returned to school this month to earn a restaurant management certificate. Though she still practices her culinary skills, Sanden has decided to become a “life transition doula,” a person who supports others in situations similar to those she faced.

“Larry inspired me to go to culinary school, and he has now inspired me to pursue my calling -- the career I was born to have,” Sanden said.

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute on Aging for more on Alzheimer's.

SOURCES: Katherine Sanden, Alzheimer's caregiver, California; Elizabeth Smith-Boivin, executive director, Alzheimer's Association's Northeastern NY Chapter

Full Article & Source:

Controversial Seminole County judge to face disciplinary hearing

by Dave McDaniel

Seminole County judge Wayne Culver is still hearing local cases.

In late June, it appeared he would be soon disciplined for some bench behavior earlier this year.

One incident, which took place on Feb. 10, is believed to address Culver's behavior in a video that shows him cursing at a defendant.

"Can you shut up and sit down?" he's heard saying in the video.

"That's not shutting up," he replies when the defendant responds.

"Do you want to be held in contempt and go to jail?" He is heard asking. "I asked you a [expletive] question [expletive]."

It appeared Culver, after admitting his behavior violated the code of Judicial Conduct, would get a 60-day suspension and likely a reprimand.

Also, back in June as the proposed discipline was spelled out, it was known the Florida Supreme Court would have the last word. It just filed a new document. The discipline case is not over.

In the filing, the "court rejects the stipulation and disapproves of the proposed sanctions" and orders "further proceedings to include a full hearing before the judicial qualifications commission."

Paul Flemming is a public information officer with the Florida Supreme Court.

"The court rejected that recommendation and sent that back to the judicial qualifications commission and asked for it to proceed with a hearing," Flemming said.

The judicial qualifications commission is independent, but based on the Supreme Court filing, will move the Culver case to hearing.

"The court itself cannot investigate or initiate investigations of judicial misconduct," Flemming said.

The case also involves an incident in January where Culver handed out a lengthy sentence after some back and forth with a person in front of him in court. A sentence he later set aside.

It is not clear when a hearing might be held.

Full Article & Source:

Daughter accused of stealing thousands from elderly mom

Debbie Corley(WRDW)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - The Burke County Sheriff’s Office reports a daughter has been arrested and charged with stealing thousands of dollars from her mother.

On Aug. 22, authorities received an elder abuse report from Adult Protective Services.

The report says the victim has been a hospice resident at a nursing home since January 2022.

According to the report, the nursing home attempted to set her up with Nursing Home Medicaid when they found her account was empty. Her daughter oversaw her bank account, according to the report.

On Aug. 30, authorities arrested the daughter, Debbie Corley, 57. She is charged with elder abuse-exploit/inflict of pain to/deprive essential services to disabled persons.

Corley’s mugshot was not available.

Bank reports show several transactions since January that the mom did not approve.

They found several banks, Zelle transfers to her daughter, food delivery, and online purchases, according to the report.

Investigators found the total amount of stolen money is around $22,000.

Full Article & Source:

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

1 dead, 2 critically injured after dishwashing liquid served at San Mateo senior living home

A resident of a San Francisco Bay Area senior citizens home died after being mistakenly served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice, the home said.

Two other residents at the Atria Park of San Mateo were sent to the hospital and are in critical condition, NBC Bay Area reported. The woman was also transported but later died.

"When this occurred, our staff immediately contacted authorities, and the residents were transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. We are conducting our own internal investigation and the employees involved have been suspended until this investigation concludes," the senior home said in a statement.

Other details weren't immediately released.

A woman who spoke with NBC Bay Area described the woman who died as a long-time San Mateo resident and mother of nine children.

Full Article & Source:

Tentative deal announced by union, Pa. nursing home company; strikes loom at other facilities

Guardian Healthcare and the SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania labor union reached a tentative agreement that will avoid a strike at company facilities, according to a joint statement released Monday.

Bargaining committees made up of facility workers unanimously recommended the new deal “because of statewide wage scales and affordable health care,” the statement reads. The tentative agreement, expected to be ratified this week, covers more than 1,200 employees at 18 facilities owned by Guardian.

Union nurses and other organized staff announced last week that strikes would begin Friday at 10 facilities owned by Guardian, nine owned by Priority Healthcare, four owned by Comprehensive Healthcare Management Services and one owned by Shenandoah Heights Healthcare.

With the tentative deal in place, strikes at the Guardian facilities are off, according to a joint statement.

The statement said negotiations continue with Comprehensive and Priority but there is no indication strikes were averted at facilities owned by those companies.

The union accused the companies of unfair labor practices amid contract negotiations.

Guardian employees impacted by the tentative deal work at the following facilities: Beaver Valley Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Beaver Falls; Belair Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Lower Burrell; Clarion Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Clarion; Guardian Elder Care at Nanticoke; Haida Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Hastings; Kinzua Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Warren; Meadowcrest Health & Rehab, Bethel Park; Meadowview Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Montrose; Meyersdale Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Meyersdale; Oil City Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Oil City; Richland Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Johnstown; Riverside Rehabilitation & Nursing, Taylor; Titusville Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Titusville; Uniontown Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Uniontown; Walnut Creek Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Erie; Waynesburg Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Waynesburg; Western Reserve Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Erie; William Penn Healthcare & Rehabilitation, Lewistown.

Full Article & Source:

Walton couple accused of stealing $8K from senior to buy inflatable pool, gourmet barbecue

A Walton County couple was arrested after investigators said they used a senior’s debit card to spend more than $8,000 on items such as an inflatable swimming pool and gourmet barbecue.

A Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigation revealed the 70-year-old previously lived with the suspects, Charles Victor Currington and Crystal Sherlock, Attorney General Ashley Moody said in a Monday press release.

Investigators said the senior assisted the couple with their household bills, including repairs to the home after a fire. After five years, the 70-year-old moved into a nursing home and no longer authorized Currington and Sherlock to use the debit card.

According to investigators, Currington and Sherlock didn’t return the debit card. Instead, they used it to spend more than $8,000 on “frivolous purchases.”

“Our investigators exposed a criminal duo who stole thousands of dollars from a 70-year-old Floridian — thinking no one would notice after the senior moved into a nursing home,” Moody said in the news relea “Huge mistake. My investigators worked diligently to gather evidence of their crimes, and now this criminal couple will face justice for exploiting a Florida senior.”

Currington and Sherlock were each charged with one count of criminal use of personal identification information of an individual more than 60 years old, a second-degree felony; one count of criminal use of personal identification information of more than $5,000, a second-degree felony; and one count of theft from persons 65 years of age or older, more than $300, but less than $10,000, a third-degree felony.

The case will be prosecuted by Attorney General Moody’s MFCU through an agreement with the State Attorney for the First Judicial Circuit of Florida, Ginger Bowden Madden. The Walton County Sheriff's Office also assisted with the investigation.

This article originally appeared on Northwest Florida Daily News: Walton couple accused of stealing $8K from 70-year-old

Full Article & Source:

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Kannapolis Police Arrest Woman For Exploiting Elderly Patients At Nursing Home

by Samantha Gilstrap

Nina Elaine Barkley
KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — A woman working at a local nursing home In Kannapolis has been charged for using her position of trust to gain access to an elderly patient’s bank account in order to withdraw $45,000 from the victim’s savings.

The Kannapolis Police Department charged Nina Elaine Barkley, 52, with three counts of felony exploitation of an elder/disabled adult and one count of felony identity theft following a six-month-long investigation into the incident.

Police say Barkely was a staff member at Big Elm Nursing Center, where she used her position of trust to gain
access to a person’s bank account.

Barkley withdrew $45,000 of the victim’s life savings over a period of several months, according to a news release.

During the investigation, detectives discovered Barkley had also exploited other victims in other local cities and she has been arrested on those additional charges.

Barkley is currently being held in the Mecklenburg County Jail.

Anyone with more information on this case is asked to contact Investigator Wesley Wilson at 704-920-4031 or

Full Article & Source:

Caretaker of Senior Couple Sentenced for Stealing Hundreds of Thousands from Elderly Couple’s Bank Accounts

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

Friday, August 26, 2022

Caretaker of Senior Couple Sentenced for Stealing Hundreds of Thousands from Elderly Couple’s Bank Accounts

Miami, Florida – A U.S. federal district judge sentenced 52-year-old Sherri Lynn Smith to 51 months in prison, followed by four years of supervised release for stealing nearly $300,000 from two seniors by accessing their bank accounts while employed as their caretaker.   

From 2016 to 2019, Smith worked as a caretaker for an elderly couple in Broward County.  As part of her duties, Smith had access to the victims’ bank accounts to assist them with paying their monthly bills.  Smith used her access to the victims’ finances to embezzle approximately $300,000 out of the victims’ accounts without their knowledge or consent.  She accomplished this by writing and forging the victim’s signature on checks made payable to herself, her family members, and her creditors; initiating Zelle electronic money transfers from the victims’ accounts to her own bank account; and making electronic payments from the victims’ accounts to her and her husband’s numerous credit card accounts.

In addition to sentencing Smith to prison and supervised release terms, the judge entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $288,865.92 and ordered Smith to pay $168,895.92 in restitution.  United District Judge Thomas P. Barber, of the Middle District of Florida, presided over this Southern District of Florida case.

Juan Antonio Gonzalez, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Robert M. DeWitt, Acting Special Agent in Charge, FBI Miami, made the announcement.  

FBI Miami investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana M. Acosta prosecuted it.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Stone is handling asset forfeiture. 

Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. The mission of the Department’s Elder Justice Initiative is to support and coordinate the Department’s enforcement and programmatic efforts to combat elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation’s seniors. To learn more visit  The public is encouraged to report victimization and suspected fraud schemes by calling the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD 11 (1-833- 372-8311).  

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at or at, under case number 21-cr-14023.


Bedridden Texas mother found in ‘deplorable’ health, open bed sores and mold on body; adult children arrested

By Max Thornberry

A Texas woman died after police found her in a San Antonio home, bedridden and in declining health. 

Patricia Martinez, 58, had been confined to home hospice and was supposed to be cared for by her three children. However, Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar said police found Martinez in her home in "deplorable" conditions, including finding open bed sores and mold growing on her body. Martinez was removed from her home and taken to a hospital on Aug. 18. 

Oscar Dominguez, 37; Roxanna Carrero, 24; and Pedro Carrero, 18 were charged with injury to a disabled individual causing serious bodily injury 

Oscar Dominguez, 37; Roxanna Carrero, 24; and Pedro Carrero, 18 were charged with injury to a disabled individual causing serious bodily injury  (Bexar County Sheriff's Office)

"This is an extremely heartbreaking case of injury to a disabled person," Salazar said. 

Police arrested Martinez’s three children, Oscar Dominguez, 37; Roxanna Carrero, 24; and Pedro Carrero, 18; and charged them each with injury to a disabled individual causing bodily injury, a first-degree felony. Salazar noted a first-degree felony is "along the same level as murder would be." 

When Martinez’s doctors noticed a "steep decline in her level of health," they notified Adult Protective Services, which notified police. 

Salazar said police found Martinez was in "such deplorable conditions that we felt the need to take resolute action very quickly." 

Salazar spoke with reporters before Martinez died and said at the time that she was not expected to live. The sheriff also said it was possible the charges against Martinez’s children could be upgraded. 

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Monday, August 29, 2022

Borrello takes up issue of guardianship reform in NY

By Olean Times Herald staff

State Sen. Anthony Palumbo (left) and state Sen. George Borrello sit across from advocates of guardianship reform Thursday. Across the table are (from left) Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy, Libra Max and Christine Montanti.

State Sen. George Borrello joined fellow Sen. Anthony Palumbo Thursday in hosting a forum in New York City to highlight the need for guardianship reform to protect vulnerable seniors and offer policy proposals for next year’s legislative session.

Earlier this year, Palumbo, R-Long Island, introduced Karilyn’s Law, which is named after Karilyn Montanti, a senior and victim of the guardianship system, whose loved ones have been denied due process rights to be heard and the right to an evidentiary hearing, which would simply allow family and friends to visit.

After the introduction of this legislation, Palumbo’s office received a number of emails and phone calls from throughout the state detailing the hardships families have experienced due to the current guardianship laws.

“It is truly heartbreaking to hear these stories, to talk to families who are unable to visit loved ones, especially older individuals in guardianship who have limited time remaining to see their children and grandchildren,” Palumbo said during the Guardianship Roundtable.

Borrello, R-Chautauqua County, said the government’s first duty is to protect the health and safety of its citizens.

“Guardianships can protect vulnerable seniors and incapacitated adults and children,” he said. “But just as a guardianship can be used as a shield to protect the vulnerable, and it can also be used as a weapon by feuding family members to punish their rivals.

“People deemed ‘incapacitated’ by a judge can have their homes sold and estates drained with complete disregard to whatever end-of-life decisions they made,” he added.

Advocates who spoke at the roundtable included Christine Montanti, daughter of Karilyn Montanti, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy and Libra Max, daughter of artist Peter Max.

“We have cases where adult children are being barred from seeing their sick and dying parents by a guardian,” Borrello continued. “Anyone who has sat vigil by the bedside or held the hand of a sick or dying loved one knows that is fundamentally wrong.”

The senator said testimony gathered will help in drafting legislation to reform the guardianship system to ensure accountability and protect vulnerable seniors from being victimized by unscrupulous court-appointed guardians and the system itself.


A Livingston County resident whose heroic actions helped save the life of a drowning man in the Niagara River was honored this week.

Sean Needham was presented with a New York State Senate Liberty Medal for the lifesaving assistance he rendered on Dec. 16, despite the risks it involved to his own life and safety. The medal is one of the highest civilian honors that a New York resident can receive and involves a months-long application process and approval by the Senate majority leader.

Needham, a commercial diver, was working with other members of the BIDCO Marine Group diving team repairing supports on the Niagara River’s Bird Island Pier when they heard a group of fishermen yelling and running towards the water with a life preserver.

“As soon as they realized someone was in trouble, Sean Needham and his colleagues didn’t hesitate; they sprang into action, jumping into the rescue boat to find the drowning individual. Upon reaching him, he resisted their rescue attempts,” Borrello said. “Knowing they only had minutes before hypothermia would take the man’s life, Sean dove into the fast-moving, frigid water where he was able to swim to the victim, get his arms around him, and pull him back to the boat.”

Once in the boat, Needham and his fellow divers worked to prevent the man from going into shock and hypothermia by dousing him with hot water to raise his body temperature. When they were back on land, EMS took over and transported the man to the hospital.

“At a time when it can be easy to get discouraged by a steady stream of bad news, Sean is an inspiring reminder that there is still good in the world,” Borrello said.

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Defamation suit over allegations of elder abuse in Aiken has been settled

by Matthew Christian

Aug. 26—Aiken businessman Cody Anderson's lawsuit against another funeral home owner is over.

John Harte, Anderson's attorney, and Jeffrey Kull, attorney for Ed Hatcher and the Hatcher Funeral Home, jointly filed a stipulation of dismissal on Aug. 12.

In the stipulation, Harte and Kull say the suit should be dismissed with prejudice meaning Anderson can't sue Hatcher again over the claims made in the suit.

Harte said Friday afternoon that the suit had been settled. He added he could not speak about the specifics of the settlement but added amends were made.

He said he was well-pleased with the settlement as Anderson's attorney and that it spoke well of both men.

Anderson sued Hatcher on April 5 over Facebook posts Hatcher allegedly made regarding allegations made in another lawsuit that Anderson used undue influence to get an elderly woman, Mary Margaret Wenzel Crandall, who had been diagnosed with dementia in 2018 to sign a will in 2020.

Crandall died in early January and a battle began between Anderson, who was named as executor in the 2020 will, and Thomas Bateman, who stood to inherit under the 2020 will, and Wanda Scott, Crandall's accountant, and Ray Massey, her attorney, over what will should be used to distribute the assets valued at over $8 million in her estate.

Scott and Massey filed paperwork in late January arguing that the court should use a will signed in 2001 to distribute Crandall's assets. In that will, Scott and Massey were named as the people responsible for distributing Crandall's assets.

Anderson filed paperwork on Feb. 17 and March 1 arguing that the court should use a will signed by Crandall in 2020 to distribute Crandall's assets. In that will, Anderson was named the executor, the person who would distribute Crandall's assets.

Eventually, the case moved from the Aiken County Probate Court to the Aiken County Court of Common Pleas. And on March 17, Scott and Massey argued that Anderson had used undue influence to convince Crandall to sign the 2020 will which led to Hatcher's alleged Facebook posts.

Harte issued a statement shortly after the Aiken Standard published a story on the allegations of elder abuse in which he said Anderson would concede that the 2020 will didn't meet the requirements of South Carolina law.

Judge Courtney Clyburn Pope ruled on April 21 that the 2020 will was invalid because it didn't meet the witness requirements in South Carolina Probate Code.

Clyburn Pope then dismissed with prejudice — Anderson can't bring them again — the arguments Anderson made that the 2020 will should be used.

Scott and Massey then agreed to dismiss their claims of action against Anderson. Anderson and the funeral home agreed to dismiss their claims of action against Scott and Massey. Both of these dismissals were made without prejudice and can be brought again.

Clyburn Pope then ordered the case returned to probate court to use the 2001 will to distribute Crandall's assets.

On June 21, Anderson filed suit against Massey and Scott alleging that the allegations of elder abuse and undue influence were made without evidence and with no investigation.

That case remains pending as of 1:17 p.m. Friday.

However, Massey and Scott have filed a motion to dismiss in which they argue that Anderson's allegations don't state facts sufficient to give rise to a cause of action.

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Former Ringgold caregiver charged with strangling man sparks talk about elder abuse

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office


A life-threatening situation occurred in one quiet neighborhood on Friday when police say a woman paid to help take care of a Chattanooga man with ALS instead robbed and tried to strangle him.

The incident has sparked conversation about elder abuse and Monday we spoke to an expert about how often these cases happen.

According to an arrest affidavit, a former nurse’s aide entered the home of a man in his 70’s who she previously helped care for.

The report states Marcella Edge, also known as Marcella Collins, put a rag in his mouth, laid him flat on his bed and poured water on his face before leaving the home with a stolen amount of 4,000.

Monday we spoke to Shannon Bennett, Director of Sales at Brookdale Senior Living, about elder abuse cases.

"Elder abuse is a rapidly growing problem because the senior demographic is rapidly growing," Bennett says.

"85% of seniors over the age of 80 are going to have some sort of cognitive decline," she adds.

According to the arrest affidavit, the victim had Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS.

We asked Bennett: Are the elderly, a vulnerable population?

"Absolutely. They're a vulnerable population," she answered.

Bennet says this this is a common concern she hears from loved ones of those who need nursing care.

"They stole from us, they came in, they slept the whole time. They didn't take care of her, I hear that all the time, all the time," Bennett says.

We looked into the aide’s medical license, which says she didn’t face any disciplinary action in the past.

She faces charges of aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery, attempted first degree murder and aggravated abuse of an elderly or vulnerable adult.



A former caregiver was arrested for allegedly strangling her former patient, according to a police affidavit we obtained over the weekend.

On Friday, August 19, officers responded to a home invasion on Scrapeshin Trail.

According to the affidavit, the victim told officers with assistance from his two caregivers that a former employee came to his home Thursday night and spent 30 minutes to an hour assaulting him by means of strangulation.

The victim told police he begged for his life and identified the suspect as Marcella Collins.

The man told police Marcella stuffed an orange and white checkered rag into his mouth, laid him on the bed, held his nose shut, and poured water in his face.

The rag was found in the washing machine when police arrived and the victim identified it as the one used in the attack.

According to the affidavit, during the altercation, Marcella told the victim, “Are you going to send me a 1099 now?"

The victim told the police he thought he was going to die.

Prior to the assault, the victim stated he had $4,000 in cash in a small box near his bed, but that money was removed from the box after the incident.

According to the affidavit, he told police, that he closed his eyes to give off the impression he was dead and Marcella left the scene.

During the course of the investigation, police learned Marcella was fired last Wednesday.

Police learned the victim wanted to give Marcella a 1099 form for tax purposes.

Police were able to locate Marcella at a home in Harrison where she was arrested.

According to the affidavit, during an interview with police, Marcella said she left the Harrison home on Thursday, and went to Burger King and then to the victim’s house where she parked her red Jeep in the driveway. She told police she was told to come to the home to pick up items and to enter through the side door that was open for her to enter.

Marcella said during her interview with the police. she gave the victim a bath that he needed, changed his linens, and placed them in the washer to be cleaned.

She also said her Jeep contained $4,000 in cash located inside the glove box and most of the items that she took from the home.

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Sunday, August 28, 2022

92-year-old grandma and grandson are on a mission to visit every US national park together

Brad Ryan, 41, and his 92-year-old grandmother, Joy Ryan, are nearing the finish line on a goal they once thought was impossible: visiting all 63 U.S. national parks together.

The duo from Duncan Falls, Ohio, kicked off their adventure in October 2015, when Brad was looking for a way to spend a three-day weekend during veterinary school. He said the idea was sparked by a conversation he had with "Grandma Joy" about his past adventures on the Appalachian Trail. 

"I felt bad that she was always living vicariously through my stories," Brad told "GMA." "And so just knowing that she had never seen deserts and mountains and the ocean and these incredible wild places on Earth, it just felt like a responsibility that I had to her to make sure that she had some memories to take away in her life story as well."

Brad invited his grandma on a weekend trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, anticipating it would be their only excursion together.

"You don't assume going into that that your 85-year-old grandmother going with you on a camping trip is going to be anything less than challenging," Brad said. "That was my fault. That was my misperception of what age means and more importantly, what her spirit would allow her to do."

"I've always tried to be positive in my life and it didn't hurt to try something once," Grandma Joy said. "I didn't want to have to regret the next day that you didn't do it."

PHOTO: 92-year-old Joy Ryan gleefully watches bears catch fish at Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
Brad Ryan, @GrandmaJoysRoadTrip
92-year-old Joy Ryan gleefully watches bears catch fish at 
Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

Brad began documenting their adventures on Instagram and Facebook to the account @GrandmaJoysRoadtrip in 2019, and they quickly acquired a large following. Today, they boast nearly 58k followers on Instagram.

"We didn't expect that," Grandma Joy said. "He just put that on the social media so the people back home in Duncan Falls knew what we were doing."

National Parks Services Chief of Public Affairs and Chief Spokesperson Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles said in a statement that "Grandma Joy, and her grandson Brad, are an inspiration to us all."

"National parks are best enjoyed with the people we love, and it is clear to see that Joy and Brad share a special bond, which has been strengthened by their time traveling together," Anzelmo-Sarles said.

They had visited 29 parks until the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to slow down.

"All we could do was hope that things would change and that those opportunities would still be there and then be grateful for everything that we had been able to do and see up until that point," Brad said.

In July 2021, Grandma Joy and Brad embarked on one of their wildest adventures yet: visiting the eight National Parks of Alaska, where they went white water rafting down class three rapids, hiked near glaciers and fjords and crossed a wild animal encounter off Grandma Joy's bucket list.

"I always wanted to see the bears get the fish and I finally got to see it. And it was fun, it really was," Grandma Joy said.

PHOTO: 92-year-old Joy Ryan poses while hiking in Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska.
Brad Ryan, @GrandmaJoysRoadTrip
92-year-old Joy Ryan poses while hiking in Gates of the 
Arctic National Park and Preserve in Alaska.

After years of planning and traveling, Grandma Joy and Brad are almost able to hang up their hiking boots: the duo has just one national park left to explore, the National Park of American Samoa which is over 6,700 miles from their home town of Duncan Falls.

While they're looking forward to the day they visit their final park, Brad said completing their extraordinary feat will be "bittersweet."

"It's been a grand adventure, it really has," Grandma Joy said. "It's really been a beautiful, beautiful time. And I wouldn't trade it for anything."

As for advice from Brad and Grandma Joy, they encourage everyone to seek out opportunities for exploration.

"We realize that not everybody is going to be able to travel to every U.S. National Park," Brad said. "But there is some adventure to be found in every corner of of the country and we hope that people will go out and seek that adventure."

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Nursing home workers at 24 facilities throughout Pa. issue notices to strike

By Briana Smith

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Workers at two dozen nursing home facilities across Pennsylvania have sent out notices that they intend to strike. 

SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania says Guardian Healthcare and two chains owned by Mordy Lahasky, Comprehensive Healthcare and Priority Healthcare, have refused to bargain in good faith.

"This workforce has been through so much," said SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania President Matt Yarnell. "They've been called heroes. Now's the time to pony up and make these good jobs."

Healthcare workers at facilities like The Grove at Irwin, The Grove at New Castle, The Grove at Washington, Beaver Valley Healthcare and Rehab and Clarion Health and Rehab voted to send out strike notices for unfair labor practices.

"We as a union want to make sure that people get good high-quality care, workers have a seat at the table through their union, and we want these careers to be good careers," said Yarnell. "We want the people to be protected, respected, paid and staffed."

The strike notice involves issues related to the use of agency staff or the regulatory staffing ratios set to go into effect this year.

The union says management also offered lower raises than last year, despite nursing homes receiving $600 million in state funding. Yarnell said they need to set minimum wages to $16 an hour for ancillary people who do the housekeeping and maintain a safe space. 

"We need to set wage minimums for certified nursing assistants," said Yarnell. "Twenty dollars an hour walking in the door and we think we have to set minimums of $25 for nurses, and those are minimums. We also need to get significant increases for people who have been there."

The workers have a list of demands including a substantial increase in wages, employer-paid health insurance and ensuring employers follow new state regulations.

"They need to be able to put their family on their healthcare," said Yarnell. "Many of these folks caught COVID, took it home to their families and couldn't cover their families with their care," said Yarnell. 

By law, nursing home administrators must receive a 10-day notice before a strike. If nothing changes and the two sides don't come to an agreement, the strikes will begin on Sept. 2. 

"Nobody wants to go on strike on Sept. 2, and at the same time, I think our members are really righteously angry," said Yarnell. "We've done all this work. We fought so hard. We want to make these good jobs and we're met with tremendous resistance to invest."

Yarnell said they'll continue to have conversations with the companies.

KDKA reached out to Guardian Healthcare for comment but hasn't heard back yet. KDKA was unable to get in contact with anyone from Comprehensive Healthcare and Priority Healthcare because of their lack of contact information. 

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Suspects in elder abuse case indicted for murder

by Hannah Hageman

The two people charged in the elder abuse and neglect case have now been indicted for murder by a Christian County Grand Jury.

The indictments against 43-year-old Jacob Gilstrap and 39-year-old Ann Harrison of Oak Grove are for first-degree criminal abuse, knowing abuse/neglect of an adult, knowingly exploiting an adult over $300, eight counts of second-degree cruelty to animals and murder. The victim in the case, 70-year-old Anthony Wayne Gilstrap, died recently at ContinueCARE Hospital in Madisonville, following emergency medical care due to the state of his health.

The indictments allege that while in a caretaker role, they forced Anthony Gilstrap to live alone in deplorable conditions inside a camper outside of their Timberline Circle home between March 1 and July 10. Medical staff reported signs of sepsis, gangrene, an open wound to the bone of the victim’s leg and numerous pressure ulcers consistent with neglect. Bilateral leg amputations were necessary, according to the warrant.

Jacob Gilstrap and Harrison were in charge of the victim’s finances and bank staff confirmed to police that the victim’s account was overdrawn every month until his social security check was deposited. In addition to a monthly withdrawal to pay for the college dorm of Harrison’s son, there was a monthly electronic transaction for a life insurance policy on the victim.

The couple sold the victim’s home sometime early last year for $135,000 and used the money to buy a Jaguar sports car for Harrison and the camper that they moved to their home.

The grand jury also indicted 31-year old James Fourqurean of Hopkinsville with first-degree assault, alleging that on March 1 of this year he worked with another suspect and assaulted a woman with a bat while she was asleep. The victim required 11 staples to her head, according to the warrant.

Indicted for first-degree sexual abuse is 27-year-old Mikayvion Merritt of Hopkinsville—he allegedly made forcible sexual contact with the victim in November of 2021.

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