A hired caretaker for a patient with Down syndrome, who allegedly struck the woman she was caring for, yesterday waived a hearing that was scheduled on the charges.
Donna Marie Randall, 47, of West Abbott Street, Lansford, was scheduled to have the charges heard before District Judge Edward Lewis of Jim Thorpe. Those charges are neglect of a care-dependent person, simple assault and harassment.
Randall was an overnight caretaker for Caroline Herman of Jim Thorpe.
It is alleged, and depicted on video, that Randall struck Herman several times in the facial area on the night of Nov. 5. According to the affidavit, Herman sustained an injury to the inside gum of her upper lip.
About a dozen family members and friends of Herman were at the office of Lewis in anticipation of the hearing. They waited about two hours while Randall's attorney and members of the Carbon County District Attorney's Office discussed the case before Randall's attorney opted to have it waived to Carbon County Court.
A pretrial conference is scheduled at Carbon Court on March 1.
Members of Herman's family were unhappy at the waiver.
Elaine Turner, a sister of Caroline, and whose home Caroline has been residing in for the past 10 years, said, "We're very disappointed (at the waiver). My whole family was disappointed."
She said Randall had been a caretaker for Caroline for about eight months. She said the suspicion of Randall physically assaulting Caroline occurred when Elaine's husband, Victor Turner, heard a "smack the night before." She explained there is a baby monitor in Caroline's room.
The affidavit says Victor Turner "stated it sounded like someone was hit." A video monitor was placed in the room and, according to the affidavit, "Upon reviewing the video, they both noticed the caretaker Donna Randall strike Herman."
The arresting officer, Detective Lee Marzen of the Jim Thorpe Police Department, said in the affidavit that he also witnessed Herman's right arm being restrained by Randall.
Marzen writes in the affidavit, "Randall stated that she was working the night of the assault and told me that she doesn't remember what happened that night. I advised her that the video had shown her striking Herman. Randall stated that she had no recollection of the incident, but admitted if it was on video then she must have assaulted Herman."
Regina D'Ancona of Nesquehoning, a stepdaughter of Turner, said Herman was born with Down syndrome but was able to function most of her life. "She would feed herself, talk."
D'Ancona noted that in December 2010, the day after her 52nd birthday, "she went down hill."
Randall is currently free on $10,000 (10 percent) bail.