Personal care home owner named in 26-count indictment

A woman who operated one licensed personal care home and is charged with operating five unlicensed 0nes in Augusta was indicted Tuesday on charges including neglect and exploitation of disabled adults.

 

The Richmond County grand jury named Margaret Dale Freeman, 60, in a 26-count indictment, less than a month after she came to the attention of the new personal care home task force, Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly.

The investigation began with a complaint from a relative of a resident of Freeman’s Milledgeville Road personal care home, Joshua House 3.

Freeman, who turned herself in at the sheriff’s office Oct. 1, remains in jail under a $100,000 bond for four counts of neglect of a disabled adult.

The indictment charges Freeman with 15 counts of neglect of a disabled adult, two counts of exploitation of a disabled adult, four felony counts of operating an unlicensed personal care home, one misdemeanor count of operating a unlicensed personal care home, and four counts of misdemeanor obstruction of an investigation.

When investigators went to 2542 C Milledgeville Road to investigate the complaint Sept. 27, they found residents alone in the “care” of another disabled adult, District Attorney Natalie Paine said at Freeman’s bond hearing last month.

According to the indictment, Freeman neglected six disabled adults by taking them from the Milledgeville Road home and leaving them at a Red Roof Inn without food, money or proper supervision. Freeman is also charged with removing two disabled adults from an unlicensed home at 419 Dupont St. and leaving them at the Rainbow Terrace motel. According to the indictment, three other disabled adults were taken from an unlicensed home at 1932 Wrightsboro Road and left without food, money or supervision at a Budget Inn.

A resident at another unlicensed home at 309 Sibley St. was removed from the house and left alone at a bus station, the indictment says.

The indictment charges Freeman with additional counts of neglect between Sept. 28 and Oct. 13 for leaving disabled adults in houses without adequate living conditions, food, electricity or supervision.

The exploitation of a disabled adult charges refer to Freeman improperly using a disabled woman as a caregiver for other disabled adults at Joshua House 3, 2429 Damascus Road and 2444 Juniper Drive.

The felony counts of operating an unlicensed personal care home indict Freeman on running unlicensed homes on Dupont Street, Wrightsboro Road, Sibley Street and Juniper Drive, homes in she was charged in connection with resident neglect or exploitation.The misdemeanor count involves an unlicensed home at 3121 Church Road.

The misdemeanor obstruction charges accuse Freeman of impeding the investigation by removing residents from homes and stashing them elsewhere.

 

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

How to report

To report suspected abuse or neglect of residents of personal care homes, contact C.A.V.E. at pchtaskforce@augustaga.gov.

 

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