Office of the Attorney General
Two Community Presence Caregivers Plead Guilty in Connection with Abuse of a Mentally Handicapped Patient
Attorney General Jack Conway today announced the guilty pleas of two Kentucky caregivers in connection with the abuse of a mentally handicapped patient at Community Presence, Inc. in Carter County. Robert Thompson, 55, of Ironton, Ohio pled guilty today in three separate indictments to two counts of knowingly abusing a vulnerable adult and one count of wanton endangerment 1st degree. Ira Griffith of Mt. Sterling, Ky. pled guilty to a single charge of wantonly neglecting a vulnerable adult.
Thompson and Griffith were indicted in Carter Circuit Court in June of 2008 in connection with the abuse of Craig Martin, a mentally handicapped adult who was under the care of and resided at Community Presence, Inc. On September 10, 2007 the pair unreasonably confined and intimidated Martin with the use of improper physical restraints when he posed no threat to himself or anyone else.
"These guilty pleas conclude four cases of abuse involving multiple victims at Community Presence," said General Conway. "The hard work of our investigators and prosecutors, working together with the local commonwealth's attorney and local law enforcement, brought justice to these two men."
On March 1, 2011, a Carter Circuit Court jury convicted Thompson and Michael Yates, of Ashland, in connection with the abuse of Michael Price, a mentally and physically handicapped resident at Community Presence. The jury recommended an eight-year prison sentence for Thompson and three years for Yates.
Under plea agreements, Thompson will serve nine years on his remaining three indictments and he has agreed to waive any appeal to his jury conviction from March 2011. Griffith will serve a sentence of one year to be diverted.
Thompson also pled guilty to two other cases of abuse at Community Presence. He committed abuse a second time against Michael Price on Sept. 12, 2007, when he slammed Price's head into the hood of a car, and on Nov. 8, 2007 when he threw another Community Presence resident, Annie Thomas, to the floor using improper prone restraints, endangering her life.
Investigators from General Conway's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Control Division and the Grayson Police Department jointly cooperated in the Craig Martin abuse case and the arrests of both defendants. Prosecutors from Medicaid Fraud handled the prosecution of this case at the request of the Carter County Commonwealth's Attorney's office.
Sentencing for Thompson is set for May 26, 2011 at 1 p.m., while Griffith will be sentenced on June 20, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.