Woman arrested in alleged nursing home abuse case

By Holley Nees - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Johnetta Dashaw Phillips was charged Wednesday with injury to the elderly after she allegedly repeatedly struck 77-year-old Bonita Bolin, a resident at Castle Pines Nursing Home, according to a police affidavit.

Bolin's husband, Melvin Bolin, contacted the Lufkin Police Department and filed a report claiming his wife had been abused by Phillips and he had video to prove it.

"It is very unusual and you know, I wish we had more cases where it was that simple, but certainly having the video, I mean it speaks for itself and there's no denying what happened," said Lufkin Police Department Detective Mike Shurley.

According to the police affidavit, Bolin stated his wife told him that staff from the nursing home had been hitting her, but because of his wife's mental state, she could not identify a specific person that was allegedly abusing her.  As a result, Bolin chose to install a hidden video camera in his wife's room.

After his wife told him she had been hit again, Bolin contacted the police and turned over the video, according to the police affidavit.

"[He] was able to capture two different instances where this particular employee was being rough with her and basically assaulting her," Shurley said.

There are two separate dates where Phillips allegedly abuses Bonita Bolin.

According to the police affidavit, on June 13, 2009, "Mrs. Bolin raises her right hand in a defensive manner, and Phillips grabs her right arm and twists it down forcefully.  Phillips then strikes Mrs. Bolin three times on her right arm."

At a later date, July 14, 2009, the affidavit states, "Phillips removes the blanket, and picks up a doll that Mrs. Bolin has in her lap.  Once Phillips has picked up the doll, she strikes Mrs. Bolin with it across her chest, totally unprovoked.  Again Mrs. Bolin winces in pain.  Phillips then wheels her next to the bed...roughly puts Mrs. Bolin in the bed, causing her to again hit her head on the headboard.  Again, Mrs. Bolin grabs her head in pain."

Detective Mike Shurley said Castle Pines was very cooperative with the investigation and Phillips was sorry for the incident.

"I talked with her yesterday and you know she's remorseful for what she's done," Shurley said.  "She said she's sorry and we'll take it from here and see how it turns out."

Phillips was served the injury to the elderly warrant while she was in the Angelina County Jail for a theft by check charge.

She is being held in jail on a $100,000 bond for the abuse charge and $1,500 bond for the theft charge.

The victim's husband said he doesn't want to talk until the case is closed. The nursing home was contacted, but they declined to comment on the incident.

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