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LISBON Ex-worker in home gets probation



Published: Sat, May 5, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



The man is banned from further work as a caregiver.

LISBON -- A former group home worker will serve two years' probation after being found guilty of slapping a resident of the facility.

Wayne Harmon, 57, of New Waterford, appeared before Judge David Tobin of Columbiana County Common Pleas Court earlier this week and pleaded guilty to a first-degree misdemeanor charge of assault.

Judge Tobin imposed the maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. But the judge suspended the jail sentence in lieu of probation that will require Harmon to report periodically to a probation officer.

Harmon also is banned from working as a caregiver.

He originally was indicted on a charge of patient abuse, a fourth-degree felony that carries a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine.

Harmon was to go on trial Monday for the felony. But an agreement was reached with the prosecutor's office that secured a guilty plea to the lesser charge.

Harmon was an employee of the Harmon Adult Group Home, a New Waterford facility that has since closed. The home was run by Harmon's ex-wife, Prosecutor Robert Herron explained.

What happened: The crime occurred April 3, 2000, at Salem Community Hospital, where Harmon had taken group home resident John DeFrance for routine treatment, Herron said.

He was uncertain of DeFrance's age but said he is an adult. DeFrance was not injured by the slap, said Herron, who did not offer a motive for the assault.




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