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Elderly abuse victim's family wants justice

Updated:
A case of elderly abuse and a family's desire for justice. The case happened two years ago and is scheduled for trial in March.

The victim's family now worries a plea bargain will end in a slap on the wrist for the suspect and a slap in the face for them. News on Six crime reporter Lori Fullbright says Charles Farthing was a World War II veteran, he was married to his sweetheart for 53 years and when she died, he moved in with his son's family and enjoyed time with his grandchildren.

As his Parkinson's got worse, in 1999, he needed additional care, so, he went into the Leisure Living assisted care center. His family says they visited often, yet, within six months, he was in terrible shape. Russ Farthing, victim's son: "He had over 25 open wounds on his body and a gash on his leg that was eight inches long and three inches wide."

Doctors said Mister Farthing was malnourished and his kidneys had failed, he died two months later. Police arrested owner Jon Fleak, who was charged with felony caretaker abuse and neglect. "If Mr. Fleak had called and said he was too much to handle, I'd gotten him out of there, because I'd handled him very well for six years."

Fleak's attorney says Fleak wasn't even in town for the eight days before Farthing was hospitalized and never intentionally withheld food, water or medicine from the man. He adds, the other residents and their families had only good things to say about the care. With a trial date approaching, Farthing's family understands the DA may offer a plea bargain. They don't want Fleak to go to jail, but they do want a conviction on his record and don't want him to be operating elderly care facilities in the future. "We don't harbor any ill will toward Jon Fleak, but we want the right thing to be done."

Farthing says the DA's office recently mentioned a deferred sentence for Fleak, which means any conviction would be wiped off his record. “We don't want him to get a slap on the wrist. There are pictures in this case that speak for themselves."
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