Skip to comments.Nurses' assistant pleads guilty to selling wedding bands stolen from ailing veterans
Posted on 07/10/2012 1:47:20 PM PDT by Darnright
One of two nurses' assistants charged in the thefts of wedding bands from ailing, elderly veterans pleaded guilty today in Roanoke Circuit Court to eight felonies.
Ashley Michelle Sweeney, 23, of Ferrum admitted that in January she accepted rings taken from four patients at the Virginia Veterans Care Center on Shenandoah Avenue in northwest Roanoke. She also admitted selling them at two pawn shops along Williamson Road.
Judge Clifford Weckstein found Sweeney guilty of four counts each of receiving and selling stolen property, offenses that carry a combined maximum penalty of 120 years in prison. She will be sentenced at a hearing in September.
Through Sweeneys plea agreement, prosecutors dropped two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses. Sweeney had also been charged with four counts of grand larceny, but those were downgraded to the less serious charge of receiving stolen goods.
Sweeney and another suspect in the case, Brittney Heather Cook, were working as contract nurses' assistants when they were arrested in February during an investigation of ring thefts at the veterans care center, Assistant Commonwealths Attorney Joshua Dietz said in court.
Dietz said detectives connected Sweeney and Cook to the victims by their work schedules and said the two women rode to work together and were inseparable on the job.
Other nurses described them as being always together, even when they were not assigned to the same room, he said.
Sweeney used her identification on Jan. 14 and 15 to pawn four rings, and she and Cook were recorded on security cameras exchanging the jewelry for a total of $405, Dietz said, adding that personal appraisals placed the value of the yellow gold wedding bands at approximately $4,650. He said the women had ended their work shifts at 3 p.m. those days, and both sales were made less than an hour later.
Dietz said Cook has admitted taking only two of the four rings and said she denied taking them off the fingers of their owners, a claim he said is contradicted by evidence of bruising on the wrist and hand of one of the victims.
Cook, who faces multiple charges of grand larceny and obtaining money by false pretenses, is due in court July 30.
Both women, who are not registered nurses, are restricted by the court from working as nurses' assistants and from making contact with each other.
Prosecutors said all of the victims in the case were elderly and suffering from afflictions that ranged from dementia and Alzheimers to Parkinsons disease, and one of them has since died. Aged 77 to 89, most served in either World War II or Korea, and one of them fought at the battle of Okinawa.
Four rings taken and pawned were returned to their owners. A fifth ring, belonging to a female patient at the veterans center, is still unaccounted for, Dietz said.
Well if I was an ugly guy named “Brittney Heather” I’d probably be like a boy named Sue.
All sarcasm aside, these two are scum.
Brittany sure looks like a guy.
Total losers... creepy, creepy, creepy.
Her inner beauty just shines right through. </ Sarcasm>
Disgusting, shameful, trash! I hope they get the maximum and other inmates make their life miserable.
This kind of crap happens in skilled nursing facilities all of the time. When my father went into a SNF I deliberately left a $10 bill in his wallet. I went back the next morning and it was gone. I considered the $10 well spent and moved him to another place.
I just do not understand how people who go into caregiver positions can abuse the trust of their patients so blatantly.
what infuriates me in universal terms is the breach of responsibility. These small tokens are only worth penies in the grand scheme but for these elders they can be a world of memories and links to loved ones. Often it may be the only true physical possession. For those with fading memories, it can be the one and only trigger to a depository of remaining memories.
I can’t think of a punishment to fit this crime.
There is NO spot in hell hot enough for these two. My daughter is an RN who does home based care.... mostly elderly vets and hospice. The idea that someone would breach the trust of the elderly and dying is so offensive as to be beyond any words I can think of
I agree. This story disgusts me beyond belief. I don’t understand how someone could be so removed from conscience— I don’t believe they have a heartbeat. Those selfish, self-centered evil creatures are the walking dead.
Consider becoming a monthly donor.
It's easy, and with enough participants
we could eliminate FReepathons.
Shoot. Them. Both.
It makes me sick.
That's a great idea, but be aware that a clever crook might see that as a test and leave the item, but luckily crooks are usually not that clever.
Do Freepers think it's a good idea to visit a relative at a nursing home at random hours as a way to help protect them?
I am so glad that we were able to take turns caring for our mother so that we did not have to put her in a place like that. Also, I hope that I never get put into one.
Mother used to say to us, “If you put me in a nursing home, I’ll come back and haunt you”. She started saying that when she was only in her 50s. Maybe I should start saying that to my (adult) kids.
>Do Freepers think it’s a good idea to visit a relative at a nursing home at random hours as a way to help protect them? <
It is a good idea. My mom was found a couple of times with bruising on her wrists. I realize the elderly bruise more easily, but one time it was excessive. We raised the roof and thankfully it never happened again.
That’s how my family is. We’re very large (10 siblings, not counting extended family) and we don’t do nursing homes. Same with my husband’s family. Every member who has passed was with family until the end, unless it was a hospital situation (ie heart attack).
Oh, and if a member is in the hospital, we take turns to make sure a family member is with them round-the-clock if they are in a vulnerable situation.
Very good. Yours is a blessed family.
Thanks, I do give thanks to God for His blessings (and my parents for wanting a large family!) A lot of times with the hospital situation, it’s not even that you can do so much materially for them, it’s that it makes it clear that someone who really gives a hoot is always looking out for them, someone’s paying attention to how they’re treated and that they’re not accidentally forgotten. But we don’t try to make nuisances of ourselves :) So many times it’s easier to do things like change the bed, get them a drink or snack, help them get up, etc, than for them to have to be dependent upon busy (or not, as the case may be) staff.
You are so right about all of this.
I, too, am grateful for having come from a large family — 9 of us siblings.
May God continue to bless you and your family.
Yours too:) And God bless our parents for wanting kids!
This is just horrible. I could cry.