Former nursing assistant pleads guilty to mistreating patientby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A former nursing assistant who worked at a western Minnesota care facility has pleaded guilty to stuffing an elderly resident's mouth with a sock to silence her.
Quantel Morris, 36, of Detroit Lakes, was fired earlier this year from his job at Sunnyside Care Center in Lake Park. He pleaded guilty Tuesday in Becker County District Court to mistreatment of a resident or patient, a gross misdemeanor.
According to court records and an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health, another employee at the facility heard a noise from the resident's room on Jan. 4. She walked in to find Morris and the resident, who had a sock in her mouth.
When the employee asked the assistant what he was doing, the assistant reportedly chuckled and explained that the resident "wouldn't quit hollering."
Morris later denied putting a sock in the resident's mouth, but investigators found food particles on the sock that matched what the resident had been eating.
The resident, who has dementia and behavioral issues, was visibly shaken, scared and physically anxious for days after the incident, according to the criminal complaint.
Morris was fired following an investigation by the facility. The Minnesota Department of Health Office of Health Facility Complaints ruled the facility reacted appropriately to the incident.
Morris will be sentenced April 23. He faces up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.