Plea entered in exploitation case against disabled veteran

An Augusta woman entrusted to care for a disabled veteran entered a plea Friday to two counts of exploitation of a disabled person.

 

Shadricka Wells, 57, entered an Alford plea in Richmond County Superior Court. While not admitting guilt, Wells acknowledged there was enough evidence to prove her guilt.

Judge John Flythe said he would reluctantly accept the negotiated sentence of five years on probation under the First Offender Act. As a condition of probation, Wells is not allowed to have control of anyone else’s finances and she is not to operate a personal care home, Flythe said.

The victim, an Alzheimer’s patient, was placed in Wells’ care as a veteran foster home, said Assistant District Attorney Rex Myers. The victim complained she had been physically, mentally and financially abused, Myers said.

According to the Columbia County indictment – the case was heard in Richmond County for the defendant’s convenience – Wells is accused of taking money from the victim’s bank account between July 1, 2013, and April 30, 2014.

Myers said because of the victim’s medical condition, determining how much money was missing from her bank account is very difficult. He estimated it at around $25,000.

Defense attorney Melissa Bray told the judge that Wells took care of people in her home for 15 years. She was friends with the victim who liked to spend money and bought Wells a number of gifts, Bray said. Wells was entering a plea in the case because she was responsible for the victim’s finances, her attorney said.

Wells is in poor health and her only income is Social Security, Bray said. A hearing to determine how much restitution is due will be held at a later date.

Reach Sandy Hodson at sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com or (706) 823-3226

 

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