3 Alabama nursing home employees sentenced after allowing ants to bite elderly patient 100 times

Three former Alabama nursing home employees each pleaded guilty to one count of attempted elder abuse related to an incident when they allowed an elderly patient to be bitten by ants while left unattended for 11 hours, according to a Monday announcement from the Alabama Office of the Attorney General.

The incident occurred in September 2016 at Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center in Centre, Ala., when Sandra Michele Curry, Kacey Minerva Allen and Shawna Rogers left an elderly, bedridden patient unattended over the span of 11 hours. Over that time period, the patient incurred an estimated 100 ant bites on her thighs, knees and ankles, according to a report from the Times Free Press. While the individuals documented caring for the resident during their shift, a video recording at the facility showed none of them entered the patient's room during the 11-hour span.

"Alabama law recognizes that the care of those who are vulnerable is a serious responsibility, and those who are entrusted with this charge have a legal obligation to properly fulfill their duties," said Steve Marshall, Alabama's attorney general. "These defendants not only failed to provide adequate care, but they were shown to have lied about their negligence that resulted in harm and injury to a nursing home patient."

Each of the former nursing home employees was sentenced to two years' imprisonment. The sentences were suspended, and the defendants received three years of probation. Ms. Curry, who was a licensed practical nurse, was forced to surrender her nursing license.

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