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A former nursing home aide has been sentenced to 20 months in jail after a hidden camera caught her abusing a paralyzed stroke victim at a Lufkin facility earlier this year.
Johnetta Dashaw Phillips, 30, took the sentence as part of a plea agreement. Police arrested her in July on charges of felony abuse.
She will serve the entire sentence behind bars, because parole is not an option for state jail felons, according to prosecutor Dale Summa, with the Angelina County District Attorney's Office. Summa said he thinks the sentence is fair.
Earlier this year, the woman reported to her husband that she was being mistreated. Castle Pines launched an investigation, but the woman suffers from dementia, which prevented her from identifying her abuser, a police report stated.
A Castle Pines representative did not wish to make an immediate comment on the sentencing.
Video of Phillips physically abusing the woman surfaced after the woman's husband placed a camera in her room, the report stated. The camera captured two separate occasions where Phillips was abusing the woman, the report stated.
During one incident in June, Phillips forced the woman out of her wheelchair, striking her three times on the arm before slinging her onto her bed. The force caused the woman to hit her head on the headboard.
During another incident recorded in July, Phillips picked up a doll the woman had in her lap and struck her with it in the chest. The nurse aide then wheeled the woman to her bed and "roughly" placed her in it, causing her again to hit her head on the headboard, the report stated.
The report noted that both episodes were "totally unprovoked."
Phillips at first denied laying a hand on the woman, but after being confronted with the video changed her story, blaming the assaults on the paralyzed woman. Phillips said she was protecting herself, and that the woman had hit her several times in the past, with no one responding to her reports, according to police records.
She did not testify during her sentencing last week, but did submit a written statement admitting the abuse, Summa said.
As of Thursday, Phillips remained in Angelina County Jail, awaiting transfer to a state jail.
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