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Two caregivers convicted in case of abuse of vulnerable adult

from the Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control today announced the convictions of two caregivers on March 1, 2011 in connection with the abuse of a mentally handicapped patient at Community Presence, Inc. in Carter County. Following a week-long trial, a Carter Circuit Court jury convicted 55-year-old Robert Thompson of Ironton, OH, of knowingly abusing a vulnerable adult, wanton endangerment 1st degree and unlawful imprisonment 1st degree. Forty-year-old Michael Yates of Ashland, KY was convicted of wantonly abusing a vulnerable adult, wanton endangerment 2nd degree and unlawful imprisonment 2nd degree.

The charges against Thompson and Yates stem from the September 20, 2007 abuse of Michael Price, a mentally handicapped adult who resided at Community Presence, Inc. Over the course of an hour-and-a-half, Thompson and Yates, among others, restrained Price, lying on his back and chest and putting him at risk for serious injury or death.

Last year, two additional defendants, Todd Gribbin of Flatwoods and Earl Pelfrey of Grayson, were sentenced to diversion and ordered to never again be employed as caregivers in connection with the abuse of Price.

Investigators from General Conway's Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control and the Grayson Police Department jointly cooperated in the investigation of the case and the arrests in connection with the abuse of Price. Prosecutors from the Attorney General's office handled the prosecution of this case at the request of the Carter County Commonwealth's Attorney's Office.

"I appreciate the hard work of our investigators and prosecutors working together with the local Commonwealth's Attorney and law enforcement to bring this case to a close," General Conway said. "My office is committed to combating the abuse of Kentucky's vulnerable citizens."

The jury has recommended an eight-year prison sentence for Thompson and three years for Yates. Sentencing is scheduled for April 18, 2011.

This story was posted on 2011-03-02 16:28:43
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