Local News

Ex-Cherry Hospital workers found guilty of assaulting patient

Posted November 25, 2008

— A Wayne County District Court judge on Tuesday found two former Cherry Hospital employees guilty of assaulting a patient earlier this year.

Taniko Dominique Upton, 33, and William Kenneth Johnson, 52, were both convicted of misdemeanor simple assault on a handicapped person.

Both were sentenced to four weekends in jail and 50 hours of community service, and each must pay a $200 fine.

Upton and Johnson, who worked as health-care technicians at the Goldsboro mental facility, were fired in August after allegations surfaced that they beat a patient on Aug. 18, the same day federal investigators released a report citing Cherry Hospital for patient neglect in the April 29 death of Steven Sabock.

The 50-year-old died April 29 after being ignored for more 22 hours while staff members played cards and watched TV in the same room.

Both Upton and Johnson will appeal Tuesday's ruling, attorneys said.


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  • kandy Dec 4, 2008

    The men FOUND GUILTY of assaulting a patient should be held to a higher standard than the general population. An employee of a hospital who attacks a patient should be sentanced to years of prison, not a weekend!!! that is an outrage! No wonder it is repeated!

  • ERRN Nov 26, 2008

    These guys look mean and scary, I can't believe they take care of patients.

  • pbjbeach Nov 25, 2008

    These state employee got exactly what they deservied an their punishments probably should have been more sever than what they did get, (former state employee) thank you