Former Oklahoma City nursing assistant sentenced in abuse case

by Matt Dinger Modified: August 6, 2014 at 11:27 pm •  Published: August 6, 2014
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A former certified nursing assistant was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to grabbing a woman’s face and shaking it in a southwest Oklahoma City nursing home.

Elizabeth Ann Kibler, 59, of Oklahoma City, entered a blind plea to a charge of abuse or neglect by a caretaker.

She will also serve six years of a suspended sentence once released, Oklahoma County District Judge Donald Deason ruled Wednesday.

Kibler was charged in March 2013 after the victim’s son, Chris Rich, set up hidden cameras in his mother’s room at Grace Living Center, 940 SW 84. The victim, Melanie Rich, suffered from advanced Parkinson’s disease and could not speak, court records show.

The judge watched the video on his computer at the bench. It was not shown in open court.

“I saw the video of this, and I found myself wondering how I might feel if I was in Mr. Rich’s position,” Deason said. “I think after what the family has been through, they have the right to see you leave this courtroom in handcuffs.”

Kibler let her nursing assistant license lapse and was not planning to return to the profession, she told the judge.

She had been offered a plea deal of 30 to 60 days in jail in exchange for a felony conviction, Rich said.

Instead, she entered a blind plea in June, records show. A blind plea leaves sentencing at the discretion of the judge.

Rich said when he saw bruising around his mother’s mouth and on her arms, he felt like he had no choice but to set up surveillance cameras.

“I feel like justice has finally been done,” he said.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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