UPDATE: Assisted living facility employee sentenced for using dementia patient’s checking account

Posted at 7:46 PM, Oct 15, 2013
and last updated 2014-07-10 13:31:30-04

UPDATE: Patricia Sutton was sentenced to five years for financial exploitation of a mentally incapacitated person. Four years and 11 months of her sentence was suspended, meaning she'll only serve one month in prison. 

She entered an Alford plea, meaning she admits there is enough evidence to convict her but won't say she's guilty. 

She was facing four other charges, but they were all Nolle Prosequi in May. 

Williamsburg, Va. – A Newport News woman is charged with using a check and debit card belonging to an 81-year-old woman with dementia.

Patricia Sutton was arrested Oct. 2 and charged with four counts of financial exploitation of mentally incapacitated persons and credit card theft.

Police say Sutton used the woman’s checking account between June and September for transactions totaling more than $2,000.

Sutton was an employee at Morningside Assisted Living Facility in Williamsburg where the elderly woman lived.

According to police, the discovery was made after the 81-year-old passed away in mid- September. While her daughter was looking at her bank account statement, police say she noticed several suspicious transactions.

Those transactions included an $800 check made out to Sutton as well as payments for her car, power and cell phone bills.

According to a criminal complaint filed in court, the account was used twice while the 81-year-old was in a medically induced coma.

According to the complaint, Sutton told police she cashed the check, but gave the money to the 81-year-old, all the payments were made with the woman’s permission.

When asked about the elderly woman's medical condition, Sutton told police that she was 'of sound mind and had her wits about her at all times.'

Nurses interviewed by police said that wasn’t the case.

According to  the criminal complaint,  they told police she had great difficulty mentally, and would sometimes not remember where she was, dialing 911 for help.

An employee who answered the phone at the assisted living facility told NewsChannel 3 they could not comment on the case.

According to a document filed in court, Sutton is no longer employed there.