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Facility Staff Member Pleads Guilty To Neglect In Beating Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
October 24, 2005

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA--Nobody has been charged with murder in the June 2002 beating death of John P. Reed II.

But a former Fort Wayne State Developmental Center staff member who was supposed to closely supervise Reed has pleaded guilty to neglect in the case.

According to the Indianapolis Star, Michael G. Brown Jr., 38, pleaded guilty on October 17 to neglect of a dependent person. If the judge accepts the plea, Brown will face two years probation instead of up to a maximum 20-year prison term.

Brown, who was required to provide Reed with 24-hour, one-on-one support, told police he left Reed alone in his room for about 15 to 20 minutes. Brown claimed that when he returned, he found Reed on the floor gasping for air.

Autopsy results later showed that Reed had a torn pancreas, ruptured intestines, a punctured lung, broken ribs, and other internal injuries. A surgeon told Reed's family that the wounds appeared to have been inflicted many times over several days, that they were too severe to be repaired, and that they appeared more like the injuries of an auto accident victim.

The Allen County Coroner's Office declared Reed's death a homicide, saying he died of blunt-force trauma. But investigators have not been able to determine whether another resident or a staff member of the facility attacked him.

Court records did not suggest that Brown beat Reed, but that his neglect subjected Reed to threats to his life and safety, the Indianapolis Star noted.

Brown, who resigned from the institution about a year after Reed's death, is scheduled for sentencing on November 17.

"Trouble in Indiana's Institutions" (Inclusion Daily Express Archives)

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