SOMERSET, Ky. (AP) - A former employee of the state's largest
home for mentally retarded people was found innocent of charges
that she kicked or punched residents of the facility.
"We're ecstatic," Robert E. Norfleet, Dee Anna Sumpter's
lawyer, said after the verdict Thursday night.
Sumpter, 37, of Nancy, was found not guilty on four counts of
abusing residents of Oakwood during the summer of 2005. Her
supporters wept and hugged each other when Pulaski County Circuit
Judge David A. Tapp read the verdicts.
"There's a lot of people making false allegations, as was
proved here today, and it's destroying people's lives," said
Sumpter, who was fired as a caregiver after the abuse allegations
came to light.
The jury returned its verdict after 90 minutes of deliberations.
Lawyers from the state attorney general's office prosecuted the
case. They called three witnesses who testified they saw Sumpter
hit Oakwood residents.
(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)