Charges against an Augusta woman accused of running an unlicensed personal care home where disabled residents were allegedly exploited and neglected will be considered by a grand jury for possible indictment.
At the conclusion of a preliminary hearing in Richmond County Civil Court for Tamika Burns, 41, presiding Judge H. Scott Allen found probable cause to send felony charges of operating an unlicensed personal care home and exploitation of an elderly or disable person to the grand jury. He dismissed a third charge of neglect of an elderly or disabled person.
Burns has been held without bond since her arrest Nov. 7. Richmond County Deputy Marshal Stephen Billman obtained the warrants for Burns’ arrest after investigating a complaint emailed to the Crimes Against the Vulnerable and Elderly task force, he testified Thursday.
Billman said he went to the home at 3541 Biltmore Place where he found four disabled people living in the dirty and roach-infested house. One of the residents was confined to a wheelchair and unable to move or speak, Billman testified. Another resident told him that she took care of the physically disabled man and kept house in exchange for $20 a month, he said. Both she and two other residents needed medication for mental illnesses.
Billman said he went to Burns’ home where she told him that she ran the unlicensed personal care home and took care of the residents.
The Nov. 7 arrest was the second time Burns has been charged with running an unlicensed personal care home. In August 2014 she was charged for running an unlicensed home on Anthony Dejuan Parkway. She was accused of placing 18 people in a four-bedroom home without air conditioning in the height of summer. Burns pleaded guilty when the felony offense was reduced to a misdemeanor.
Burns is the fourth person arrested for running an unlicensed personal care home since District Attorney Natalie Paine established the personal care home task force, CAVE, earlier this year.
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