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Ex-nursing home worker pleads guilty abusing 96-year-old patient

Judge sentences Lucy W. Gakunga, 24, of Oklahoma City, to two years in prison as part of plea deal for abusing Eryetha Mayberry in April; a co-defendant remains at-large in the case.
by Tim Willert Modified: November 21, 2012 at 4:37 pm •  Published: November 22, 2012

A former nursing home aide caught on video stuffing latex gloves into the mouth of a 96-year-old patient with dementia pleaded guilty Wednesday to caretaker abuse and was sentenced to two years in prison.

Lucy Waithira Gakunga, 23, of Oklahoma City, admitted abusing Eryetha Mayberry in April as part of a plea deal with prosecutors. She received a 7-year prison sentence with all but the first two years suspended.

Gakunga, a citizen of Nigeria, will be deported after she is released from prison, Oklahoma County District Judge Glenn M. Jones said.

“I don't feel it was severe enough, but I'm not the judge,” said Erlene Adkisson, one of Mayberry's three daughters.

Caroline Kaseke, 28, a co-defendant in the case, remains at-large.

Quail Creek Nursing and Rehabilitation Center fired the nursing assistants in April after they were caught on a camera hidden by the family of the victim, who lived at the facility for five years.

The video shows Gakunga shove the gloves into Mayberry's mouth and forcefully hold them there as the patient tries to push Gakunga's hands away and Kaseke looks on, police said.

The video also shows Gakunga lift Mayberry into bed and then pushes the side of her face to force her to lie down. She also compresses the resident's torso, police said. A supervisor at the facility told police there is no medical reason to push on the woman's chest. Family members told police their loved one has painful arthritis.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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