Local News

Ex-Cherry Hospital workers found guilty of assaulting patient

Posted November 25, 2008 6:51 p.m. EST
Updated November 25, 2008 7:45 p.m. EST

— 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.