(Cherokee County Herald)
Attorney General Steven T. Marshall announced the arrests Friday, Feb. 24, of three former employees of Cherokee Health and Rehab nursing home in Centre for the neglect of an 84-year-old resident of the facility. Michele Curry, 42, of Centre, was arrested this morning and has been released on bond. Kacey Allen, 28, also of Centre, and Shawna Rogers, 26 of Rome, Georgia, were arrested this afternoon.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit presented evidence to a Cherokee County grand jury resulting in indictments* on February 15 charging each defendant with one count of Elder Abuse/Neglect in the second degree. It is alleged that Curry, a licensed practical nurse, and Rogers and Allen, certified nursing assistants, were responsible for the care of the bedridden resident throughout the night of Sept. 3, 2016 into the morning of the Sept. 4. They all charted that they had entered the room numerous times throughout the night. A review of the surveillance video showed none of the three entered the room for approximately 11 hours. When the resident was checked on, it was discovered that she had suffered approximately one hundred ant bites. It is alleged this intentional neglect directly contributed to the injuries to the resident.
Elder Abuse and Neglect II (Ala. Code 1975 §13A-6-193) provides that any person who intentionally abuses or neglects any elderly person is guilty of a class B felony if the intentional abuse or neglect causes physical injury. A class B felony carries a possible sentence of two to 20 years in the Alabama Department of Corrections.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is responsible for investigating and prosecuting providers who file false claims to the Alabama Medicaid Agency, as well as for investigating and prosecuting allegations of abuse and neglect in skilled nursing facilities.
Attorney General Marshall commended the staff and administration of Cherokee Health and Rehab for their quick reporting of the incident and his Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for the thorough investigation leading to the indictment of these individuals and for seeking justice for the elderly resident.