Fired Cherry Hospital Workers Charged

A special state prosecutor has reviewed evidence and charged three former mental hospital workers who are accused of severely beating a patient in 2006.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the state attorney general's office said the three were arrested on felony charges. Misdemeanor assault charges against them were dismissed
nearly two years ago.

Attorney general's spokeswoman Noelle Talley says the latest charges resulted from a review of evidence and new information found by investigators.

The former patient is 45-year-old Dean Smith of Roanoke Rapids and he says he is excited that he might get to testify against the men. His case was one of several documented by the newspaper last year in reports about conditions at mental hospitals.

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