Jury Finds Former Cherry Hospital Worker Not Guilty

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A jury in Wayne County has found a man accused of beating a patient at a mental hospital not guilty.

34-year-old James Smith used to work at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro. He was on trial in Wayne County this week for patient abuse and neglect.

The jury ruled Smith was not guilty of abuse against Dean Smith of Roanoke Rapids. The alleged beating took place at the state facility in 2006.


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  • by AIRMAN Location: SJAFB on Mar 12, 2010 at 06:20 PM
    My sis works there, the big issue is like 1- 2 staff, often females, having to try to stop psychotic males from fighting. Dont this place have cops or something for that? I know that young marines and airmane get taken there and then there is hardly any security. I told my sis go elsewhere it aint worth it
  • by Anonymous on Mar 12, 2010 at 11:39 AM
    SusanG, I agree that CPI is essentially worthless in terms of what could happen scenarios. You can thank JCAHO for requiring that de-escalation training be provided, either through CPI or Secure Perfect (or whatever the name of it is). If someone has a gun, you would have to have training in weapon retention and disarming in order to effectively know how to disarm armed people. CPI is not designed for people to deal with armed patients or visitors and it was not designed for that. Most participants in the CPI class only attend because it is mandatory training, therefore they do not take anything away from the course or attempt to use the course program other then once a year when you are required to renew. This is where CPI starts to crumble. I can teach you how to shoot in one 8 hour class, you never touch another weapon or attempt to practise until one year later, you will have to be taught how to shoot for another 8 hour class.. You will never have an edge of anything doing it once!
  • by Joan Location: Former CPI Instructor on Mar 12, 2010 at 07:33 AM
    As a former CPI intructor,and, a former state employee, let me say this. Yes, I have also been in the position where individuals were "out of control", and exposed to the very same situations as those listed below. IF, you were "properly" ,trained in CPI, you were taught, to be aware of your environment, "KNOW", the individual,inside and out, and to "practice" these techniques on a daily basis, not just to pass the test, "once a year", or what was stated as a "brief training", In no way, does CPI state, "let the patient/individal, hurt you prior to being hurt. It does state, to protect, all others. From my experience, as a former state employee, IF you did not intervene when another individual was being beaten upon, then, yes, you were breaking the law. In no way, is a staff member suppose to address these "out of control" situations by themselves. I do understand, and, sympathize, that often times, there is a lack of sufficient staff. In my defense, I didn't get a payraise either.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Mar 12, 2010 at 07:03 AM
    justice in North Carolina is like west Texas in the 1800's with Judge Roy Bean.his motto. 'Hang 'em first,try 'em later'
  • by asc on Mar 12, 2010 at 06:17 AM
    Were the other two already tried and found guilty?
  • by for justice Location: right behind you on Mar 12, 2010 at 05:25 AM
    to James: Sorry you were fired and your pic posted everywhere, they did you wrong. Thank goodness the jurors saw right through that, NC is an at will , crooked state so it's hard to beat them even if you r right, but hope your lawyer is pursuing civil recompensation for you from Cherry. They should have to issue a public apology but we know that ain't ever going to happen. Even now I'm sure they think they are right and the jury is wrong. Oh well, at least St. Clair took a huge pay cut also. I already sent him this story. HA. Hope life gets better for you now with this off your shoulders, we will keep you still in prayer. What up shorty blue eyes?
  • by Maryquitecontrary Location: Faison on Mar 12, 2010 at 05:16 AM
    You know how like in a school hall way fight maybe the Principal would grab one fighter from behind in a bear hug and maybe the janitor would grab the other around the waist and pull them away from each other? Most of us have seen such growing up right? WELL at Cherry THAT woulb be assault because it is not an approved CPI move. All the staff can do is try to get between the fighters and block them and absorb the blows themselves.Staff are always getting broken noses, teeth knocked loose, hair pulled from the roots, kicked punched, spit on ( exposing them to AIDS, HEPATITIS) but media seldom reports that. Taxpayers pay alot for all these staff to get beaten down who are out of work. The patients know they will never be charged cause they are already incompetent, but many are quite competent and are just thugs faking illness to avoid prosecution for other crimes in the community.
  • by SusanG Location: gboro on Mar 12, 2010 at 04:39 AM
    The staff at Cherry get brief training one a year in somthing called CPI. Basically all it teaches is " let the patient hurt you but in no way can you hurt them, even if they are killing someone" In CPI staff cannot win. If one patient is beating another patient and the staff jump the aggressive one, staff get fired for assault. If staff lay back and don't jump in they get fired for neglecting the patient who is getting beaten. Remember persons who do self defense practice daily but Cherry staff get one class per year and have to be PERFECT. Anyone remember afew years back when a Cherry patinet jumped a cop , took his gun, shot staff and himself?. Well in the movies someone would have jumped him and disarmed him , right? Only CPI does not even address the fact that a patient may have a weapon, there is no training for that. Plus if the patient shot and killed 10 staff and was reloading and a staff punched him to stop the slaughter, the staff would be fired for assault.
  • by Bill Location: Gboro on Mar 12, 2010 at 04:15 AM
    As I recall THREE staff lost their jobs over this non incident. I hope Mr Smith and the others get their jobs back and back pay. Cherry administration likes to sit over in the office would the recently purchased new furniture ( while real workers were being laid off) and review the tapes of altercations and point fingers at staff if a patient gets a fingernail scratch- never mind if the patient was swinging a pool cue at staff's head.. Thankfully Wayne County jurors have now ruled in 3 different cases that what these arm chair quarterback administrators call abuse is not abuse, it's self defense. If you have not worked there or at a aimilar facility and had a big psychotic drug fueld person try to kill you, knowing you risk getting fired for defending yourself, then you don't know what the staff go through. Most of you don't have every facet of your work life video taped and reviewed by people out to get you. The administrators should have to work with patients just one week.
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