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Plea agreement in Carter Co. patient-abuse case

Attorney General Jack Conway on Monday announced a plea agreement in the case of two Kentucky caregivers arrested on charges relating to the abuse of a patient at Community Presence Inc. in Carter County

On Dec. 4 in Carter Circuit Court, Todd Gribbens of Flatwoods and Earl Pelphrey of Grayson pleaded guilty to wantonly abusing an adult, wanton endangerment first degree and unlawful imprisonment first degree, all class D felonies, according to a statement from Conway's office.

Gribbens and Pelphrey were indicted in connection with the abuse of Michael Price, a mentally handicapped adult who was under the care of and resided at Community Presence Inc. Gribbens and Pelphrey worked at Community Presence's adult day treatment facility.

According to the indictment, on Sept. 20, 2007, Gribbens and Pelphrey, as well as other caregivers from Community Presence, lay on the victim's back and chest for extended periods of time. As part of the plea agreement, they will serve a one-year sentence. Sentencing is scheduled for January 19, 2010 in Carter Circuit Court.

Charges in the case are still pending against Bob Thompson and Michael Yates. Bob Thompson, Regina Stephens and Ira Lee Griffith also face charges in connection with other allegations of patient abuse at the facility. Investigations into Community Presence Inc. continue, the attorney general's office said.