Jury finds former state school employee not guilty of abuse

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - An Angelina County jury found a former Lufkin State School employee not guilty of abuse to a resident, according to the district attorney's office.

Prosecuting attorney Dale Summa said, "Well in every case when you know, both sides always put a lot of work into the preparation of just about every case.  You put a lot into it and I think it's almost disappointing when the verdict doesn't go their way."

Defense attorney Ryan Deaton said a bad investigation contributed to the verdict.

"The witnesses lied and the investigation was just bad," Deaton said. "Adult Protective Services just did a bad investigation. It didn't take the jury long to figure that out."

Dale Summa said, "I totally disagree.  The Adult Protective Services talked to everyone that I can determine.  A lot of people they talked to didn't testify because they didn't have information that would be helpful one way or another.  I totally disagree with that position."

Deaton said the jury deliberated for 15 minutes before reaching a not guilty verdict for Toby Falcon.

In Wednesday's opening arguments, Summa argued that Toby Falcon choked and punched the resident instead of following protocol that the State School has in place to calm residents down.

Summa said the resident got loud when he thought he had not been served his snack.

The defense argued Falcon is not guilty of abuse of any kind. The defense pointed out the resident is self-abusive when he gets angry, but said there was a struggle when the resident became disruptive.

Deaton claimed workers stood by and watched the incident happen rather than helping Falcon. The first witness on the stand was a former state school employee that saw Falcon's hands around the clients neck.