Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Stumbo Announces Arrest of Four Employees at Oakwood for Abuse

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, June 27, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo announced today the arrest of four individuals in connection with two assaults committed on a resident of The Communities at Oakwood in Somerset, Kentucky.

On May 9, 2006, Casey Coffey and Christy Mercer, both Direct Support Professionals, allegedly assaulted the patient with a broomstick inside the patient’s bedroom at the facility.

The second offense occurred on June 6, 2006 and was committed by Direct Support Professionals Sharon Young, Stephanie Sue Colyer and Casey Coffey. This alleged assault also involved the patient being beaten with a broomstick inside his bedroom at the facility.

“Residents at Oakwood put their trust in their caretakers,” said Attorney General Stumbo.  “It is absolutely appalling when that trust is violated and individuals are senselessly harmed. Those arrested today will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Casey Coffey
dob 6/26/85
Stearns, Ky
Christy Mercer
dob 2/10/1986
Eubank, Ky
Christy Mercer
Stephanie Sue Colyer
dob 6/4/1967
Bronston, Ky
Stephanie Sue Colyer
Sharon Young
dob 5/14/1973
Somerset, Ky
Sharon Young

Agents William Stewart and Paul Underwood of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation (KBI) initiated the investigation into these incidents immediately upon receipt of a complaint from an unnamed source on June 1, 2006.

The four individuals were taken into custody following arrest warrants issued by the Pulaski District Court. All were charged with one count each of Knowing Abuse of an Adult, a Class C Felony punishable by 5-10 years in jail. The four were transported to the Pulaski County Detention Center where they remain incarcerated.

The Attorney General’s investigation of allegations pertaining to the abuse and/or neglect of residents at the Oakwood facility is being conducted by the Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division.

Today’s arrests bring the total number arrested for abuse or neglect of patients at the Oakwood facility to fifteen. Four other caretakers were arrested last week in connection with the May 9, 2006 alleged assault of an individual during a group fishing trip to a remote section of Wayne County Kentucky. The assault occurred as the group was preparing to return to the facility. The victim, who did not want to return to the facility, sustained multiple cuts and bruises in addition to a fractured nose. Seven others have been arrested and indicted by the Pulaski County Grand Jury.

Agents of the Kentucky Bureau of Investigation continue to investigate other allegations of abuse and neglect at the facility. Suspected Medicaid fraud or patient abuse can be reported by calling the Attorney General’s tip line at 1-877-ABUSE TIP (1-877-228-7384).