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Jail, probation ordered for nursing home employee who struck 2 patients

(Davis County Sheriff's Office)

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FARMINGTON — A former nursing assistant who elbowed and shoved two Alzheimer's patients at a Clearfield assisted living center has been ordered to a year in jail, followed by four years of probation.

Jason Harold Knox, 30, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of aggravated abuse of a vulerable adult, second-degree felonies.

"This conduct is depraved and inexcusable and must never be repeated," 2nd District Judge Michael Edwards told Knox shortly before reading his sentence. However, the judge continued, time in the Utah State Prison might "indirectly contribute" to Knox becoming a worse person. The judge ordered jail and a mental health evaluation instead.

Knox, of Hooper, shoved a 71-year-old man with dementia into a wall on Oct. 6 while changing the man's incontinence brief, court documents show. At another time, he held a stuffed animal to the man's face and struck him in the pelvic region. The assaults were captured by a video camera.

On Oct. 7, Clearfield police were called to Chancellor Gardens Assisted Living, 1425 S. 1500 East, where family members of the man told police they had footage of Knox abusing their loved one.

Knox admitted to abusing another 89-year-old vulnerable adult, throwing her on the bed at one point and elbowing her in the torso, according to court documents.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, two remaining counts of abusing a vulnerable adult were dismissed.

Knox was first listed on the Utah Nursing Assistant Registry in September 2007 and faced no disciplinary action before his license expired in 2013, said Donelle Ricketts, director of the registry. There are more than 20,000 nursing assistants recognized by the agency in Utah, Ricketts said, and roughly 220 have been placed on its abuse registry.

The judge imposed concurrent prison sentences of one to 15 years, but suspended the terms.

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