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3 women charged with squirting toilet water at Appalachian Christian Village patients get minimum sentence

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JONESBOROUGH, TN (WJHL) -

"We will never forget this for the rest of our lives.  We will be haunted for the rest of our days by the torture mom received at the hands of these defendants," said Reina McKinnis, whose mother was one of two women at Appalachian Christian Village that were abused by former staff members, Rebecca Blevins, Jessica Ketterman and Jennifer Ketterman.  

"Blevins admitted to squirting Mrs. Lester with water, ice water, toilet water.  Squirting Mrs. Howe with water," said Special Agent TJ Battle with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations.

The three defendants were indicted on two counts of abuse, neglect or exploitation of a dependent adult for their actions towards Marie Lister and Ruth Howell, who both were diagnosed with advanced stages of dementia.

"They had no ability to either verbally or physically ward of any sort of personal attack on their being," said Melissa Leak, a family practitioner at Johnson City Medical Associates.  She examined the abused women.

The defendants hoped Judge Jon Blackwood would grant them judicial diversion, the legal term for having their records cleared of the charges.  That did not happen.

"It's a total disregard of the dignity of a human being," said Judge Jon Blackwood.

However, a fourth person did get judicial diversion. Amanda Adolphi admitted in court she witnessed the abuse but never reported it to supervisors.

"I don't know why I did not report it.  I made a mistake," said Amanda Adolphi as she began to cry.

As for the three whose records weren't cleared, Judge Blackwood gave the minimum sentence.  Blevins and the Ketterman sisters will serve one year probation.  They will not serve any jail time and will not pay any fines.

For families of the victims, the punishment can't erase a horrible memory.

"She repeatedly asked us what she had done to be put in this facility,"  said Reina McKinnis.

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