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HOT SPRINGS -- A hospice caregiver was arrested on felony warrants Thursday morning stemming from allegations that she abused two patients last year, injuring one and introducing illegal drugs to the other.

Regina Lee Wimberly, 48, was taken into custody shortly after 6:30 a.m. and charged with introduction of a controlled substance into the body of another person, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, and second-degree battery, punishable by up to six years.

Wimberly was being held in lieu of bonds totaling $5,000 and is scheduled to appear June 4 in Garland County District Court.

According to the probable cause affidavit, on July 27, the daughter of an 83-year-old Hot Springs woman filed a complaint with the Garland County sheriff's office regarding abuse of her mother while under the care of Wimberly, who conducts hospice care at a residence on Southern Charm Loop.

On July 28, sheriff's office investigators Brandon Huckaba and Randy Rowe spoke to another caregiver at the Southern Charm residence who stated that she worked for Wimberly and that the 83-year-old had told her Wimberly had struck her on the arm, according to the affidavit.

She said the victim had a cut and a knot on her arm and had told her on multiple occasions that she was scared of Wimberly. Wimberly's employee said she knew of another woman, 67, in their care who had tested positive for having THC, a marijuana derivative, in her system, the affidavit said, and that the woman's family had taken her to the hospital to be drug tested.

Wimberly's employee also said Wimberly had offered her "marijuana brownies" in the past but that she had declined.

Investigators spoke to the 83-year-old woman, who said she had argued with a woman who worked at the residence and who became upset with her and struck her, according to the affidavit. She said she put her arms up to protect her face during the attack, and investigators noted she had a cut and swelling on her left forearm.

Investigators spoke to the 83-year-old's daughter and son-in-law later that day, and the daughter said her mother told her it was Wimberly who had hit her, but that she was afraid to say her name to investigators, according to the affidavit.

The daughter also said Wimberly had asked her on the phone whether it was OK to give her mother "marijuana brownies," and the son-in-law confirmed hearing the conversation, the affidavit said. They said they became aware of the other patient testing positive for THC while under Wimberly's care.

Huckaba obtained documentation confirming the 67-year-old tested positive for cannabinoids July 22 at CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs. He later obtained a warrant for Wimberly's arrest on the two felony charges.

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State Desk on 05/27/2018

Print Headline: Caregiver accused of striking patient, giving pot to another

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