A Hempstead man and former caretaker at the Brenham State Supported Living Center is sentenced to two years in prison for Injury to a Disabled Individual, a second degree felony.
According to Julie Renken, of the Washington County District Attorney’s office, on January 21, 2011, Crow was arrested for an assault which occurred on December 30, 2010 at the Brenham State Supported Living Center. Crow was the one-on-one caretaker for one of the residents, and surveillance cameras caught him striking the young man in the head. The victim is non-verbal, and classified as having profound mental retardation, so state law places him in a protected class.
Tpically, assault is a Class A misdemeanor, but when it is an intentional act committed against a member of a protected class, such as a disabled individual, child, or elderly individual, the severity of the charge is increased.
Daniel Dickson, Quality Assurance Director at the Center, testified at trial and spoke briefly afterward. “The residents live at the Center, it is their home. Many of them don’t have voices of their own and have no way to tell us when they are hurt.” He continued saying, “We’re just proud to have prosecutors willing to speak for them.”
District Attorney Julie Renken commented briefly, “Justice was done. This young man who could not protect or provide for himself has had his story heard, and the jury agreed that what happened to him is unacceptable in our community. I couldn’t be more pleased with the verdict or Lauren’s work.”