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Caregiver Speaks From Jail Over Nursing Home Patient’s Head Injuries

Jack Fink, CBS 11 News | CBSDFW.COM
(credit: KTVT/KTXA) Jack Fink
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KAUFMAN (CBSDFW.COM) – James Seaton talked to CBS 11 News from the Kaufman County Jail after police arrested him and charged him in connection with this nursing home patient’s head injuries.  He says, “It’s terrifying to me right now.”

Sammie Berry, 88, whose wheelchair bound and has Alzheimer’s, suffered a gash to her forehead and much of her face turned black and blue.

Seaton said, “It was a terrible accident, and it’s hurted [sic] me ever since this happened here.”

Seaton is a certified nurse’s aide at the Kaufman Healthcare Center nursing home.

He says that at 6:30 last Friday morning, he was trying to get Berry dressed while she was in bed.  “I was turning her and my back kind of went out and I lost control of her, that’s when she bumped her head on the oxygen tank, which was close to the bed.”

Seaton claims he told the nurse what happened, and says she told him she’d call for an ambulance.

But family members say it was Berry’s hospice nurse who discovered her and who called 911 more than an hour later.

Louise Berry, Sammie Berry’s daughter-in-law, said, “I’m angry, I’m very angry.”

Detectives arrested Seaton Tuesday night on a felony charge of aggravated assault injury to elderly.

Kaufman police claim Seaton tried to conceal the truth, and tried to blame someone else.

Seaton denies the accusation. “I wasn’t trying to blame them.  I was hurt, and too afraid to come forward,” he said.

Now under arrest Seaton says he worried about his five-year-old son, who he’s raising alone. He said his sister is caring for the child now, as as he remains in jail on a $250,000 bond.

“I think it’s pretty sad,” said Louise Berry. “I truly hope that he’s ashamed of himself.”

When asked if he had a message for the Berry family Seaton said, “Tell them it was an accident. I’m very sorry because I wouldn’t have intentionally done anything to happen to them. I pray Mrs. Berry will be better.”

Sammie Berry remains at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Kaufman.

An attorney for the nursing home did not return calls by CBS 11 News seeking comment.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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