Woman pleads guilty to assault

November 21, 1997

Hagerstown Woman pleads guilty to assault


Staff Writer

A Hagerstown woman admitted Thursday that she struck an 88-year-old resident of the Clearview Nursing Home in May while she was working there as a care provider.

In exchange for her guilty plea, Washington County Circuit Judge John H. McDowell gave Patricia Lyla Oliver, 37, a suspended 18-month jail sentence to one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult.

A charge of second-degree assault was dropped in exchange for the plea.

McDowell placed Oliver on 45 days of home detention and ordered that she get a telephone by Dec. 12 or she would have to serve the 45 days in jail.


Home detention requires that a telephone be available in the home where the detention will be served.

According to Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Arthur Rozes, Oliver was working at the nursing home on the Downsville Pike on May 27.

That day, she was caring for the 88-year-old male Alzheimer's patient when she grabbed him by the arms, pulling him away from a set of hand rails, Rozes said.

"She then punched him in the thighs and in the chest so that he groaned in pain," Rozes said.

Photographs were produced showing the bruises on the man's body.

A witness told nursing home authorities about the incident and Oliver was fired immediately, Rozes said.

Although she has no prior criminal record, Rozes said he doesn't believe Oliver belongs in the health-care business.

Defense attorney Carl Creeden said Oliver is a certified nursing assistant and had worked at Clearview for three years. She now works in manufacturing.

"She was employee of the month at Clearview in October 1996. It was a moment of frustration," Creeden said.

McDowell told Oliver there was no excuse for her actions.

"It's hard to imagine the effect this had on him," McDowell said, referring to the victim.

McDowell said that after the home detention is completed, Oliver will be on probation for 18 months. He ordered a mental health evaluation and whatever therapy is recommended.

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