Women convicted of inciting residents at Winston-Salem nursing home to fight – Winston-Salem Journal

Women convicted of inciting residents at Winston-Salem nursing home to fight

Two Winston-Salem women were convicted Monday of inciting two female residents at an assisted-living facility to fight each other in 2019.

The fight was recorded and shared with others.

Marilyn Latish McKey, 35, of Underwood Avenue, pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor assault of an individual with a disability. Judge Todd Burke of Forsyth Superior Court gave her a suspended 45-day jail sentence and placed her on 12 months of supervised probation. McKey has to complete 50 hours of community service and must stay away from the Danby House. She also must have no contact with any residents at the Danby House.

Taneshia DeShawn Jordan, 28, of Clemson Circle, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor assault of an individual with a disability. Burke gave her a 30-day suspended jail sentence and placed Jordan on 12 months of unsupervised probation. As with McKey, Jordan must stay away from Danby House. She cannot have any contact with the two residents from the video nor can she have any contact with McKey or another co-defendant, Tonacia Yvonne Tyson, 23.

In August 2021, a Forsyth County jury acquitted Tyson of one count of misdemeanor aiding and abetting an assault of an individual with a disability after a trial.

Assistant District Attorney Jessica Spencer said in an email that McKey and Jordan pleaded guilty without a plea arrangement, meaning there was no deal on what kind of sentence they would get.

The incident happened on June 19, 2019. All three women worked for Danby House in the memory care section where residents suffer from some form of dementia.

On June 19, 2019, one of the female residents put her arm around the neck of another resident. The face of the resident who was being strangled was turning red and she called for help.

Spencer said Jordan and McKey did not intervene. Jordan used a cellphone to film the altercation and later shared copies of the video with McKey and Tyson. Jordan told investigators that she encouraged one of the women to punch the other woman in the face, Spencer said.

Jordan told investigators that she and McKey allowed the fight to continue because they had some behavioral issues with one of the residents and wanted to get some justice, Spencer said.

McKey told investigations that she was also there and didn’t intervene. Ursula Walder, McKey’s attorney, said in court that McKey did call for help. Walder declined to comment further when reached Tuesday. Spencer argued in court that McKey called someone else to watch the fight.

Laraque Stewart, Jordan’s attorney, did not return a message Tuesday seeking comment.

McKey also admitted, Spencer said, to pushing one of the residents into her room, cutting the light off and slamming the door. She said no one checked on that resident after the incident.

According to Winston-Salem police, the two female residents did not appear to be injured.

Attorneys for one of the women, Betty Elaine Moore, filed a lawsuit in October 2020 in Forsyth Superior Court against Danby House LLC; ALG Senior LLC, which operated Danby House; and McKey, Tyson and Jordan.

A settlement in the lawsuit was reached in late 2021. Details of the settlement were not disclosed. The lawsuit made several claims, including negligent hiring, supervision and retention and medical negligence. Danby House released a statement soon after the incident, saying that what happened was an isolated incident and that Danby House does not and has never condoned “such egregious misconduct, which is contrary to the training, policies and values of this community.”

After the incident, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services temporarily barred Danby House from admitting new residents because of numerous patient-care deficiencies. The state health agency said that employees were not properly trained and that they failed to administer medications to residents as prescribed by a doctor. The agency also found evidence that employees allowed, and in some cases encouraged, the residents to fight. The employees videotaped some of the fights because they didn’t like the residents involved.

Danby House currently has no deficiencies listed with the state health agency.

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