A former Oakwood employee will spend the next 60 days behind bars after pleading guilty to an amended charge yesterday in Pulaski Circuit Court.

Gary Mounce, 45, of Liberty, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the reckless abuse of an adult, a Class A misdemeanor punishable with three to 12 months imprisonment.

Mounce was slated for a jury trial on Monday, but that was cancelled when Pulaski Circuit Judge David A. Tapp received word a resolution to the case was in the works.

Last September Mounce was indicted on a charge of knowingly abusing or neglecting a mentally challenged resident while he was employed as a residential training aide at the Communities at Oakwood in August of 2004. The charge was a Class C felony punishable with up to 10 years in prison.

According to the indictment, Mounce allegedly abused an adult male resident “by physically restraining him and striking him in the face and/or body with his fist...”

Tapp sentenced Mounce to 60 days in the county jail — in addition to the 35 days in jail he had already served — with a 24-month conditional discharge. Mounce was also told he will need to reimburse the county for the time served in the jail within the conditional discharge period, as well as pay court costs.

Mounce is also prohibited from seeking or accepting any future employment that involves patient care.

By pleading guilty, Mounce admitted the incident in August 2004 occurred. The resident, because of mental or physical dysfunction, was unable to manage his own resources or carry out the activities of daily living or protect himself from neglect or a hazardous or abusive situation without assistance from others.

Assistant Attorney General Mary Cartwright recommended that in exchange for Mounce’s plea of guilty to the amended charge, he serve an additional 60 days beyond the time already served with the remainder of the sentence probated.

Mounce is one of 15 people who has been employed by the Communities at Oakwood and been arrested and charged with crimes. Mounce is the third to enter a guilty plea, while one case has gone to trial and ended in a mistrial because of jury misconduct.

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