Group home worker charged with assaulting three patients with disabilities

STATESVILLE, N.C. — A worker at a Statesville group home is accused of assaulting three clients. Investigators said one of them was as young as 12-years-old.

Brionna Sherrill, 24, worked inside the Bonnie Lane Group Home. Detectives said she was supposed to help people with mental and physical disabilities.

She was, however, accused in March of crossing the line and assaulting the three patients.

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“The victims who are all mentally, and physically disabled are 20 years old, a 16 year old and 12 years old” said detectives with Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

“You would hope that someone who chooses to work with those individuals would be more caring and more concerned about these folks than what appears to be at this point in time,” Capt. William Hamby said.

Warrants said that in one case Sherrill raised a victim’s face shield and hit him in the face. In another case, she slapped a client and hit another in the back of the head.

Brionna Janee Sherrill

(Brionna Sherrill)

Sherill was immediately placed on suspension pending an investigation into the case and local law enforcement was notified, said Danny F. Fulmer, general counsel and chief compliance officer of RHA Health Services, which manages the group home.

He said Sherrill is no longer an employee of RHA Health Services at this time.

“RHA Health Services has zero tolerance for any abuse committed against the people we support, and their safety and well-being are our primary concern. We are cooperating completely with the investigation being conducted by the Iredell County Sheriff's Office,” he said.

Channel 9 pulled state records from the Department of Health and Human Services that showed several problems at the group home since 2018.

In one case someone named Brianna Sherrill was observed smacking a client in the mouth “over his mouth piece and directly on his mouth (about) six times”.

The state said the facility in that case and others “failed to conduct thorough investigations of the allegations” and failed “to request nursing to physically observe all clients” for possible injuries.

DHHS sent a statement to Channel 9 and said it was aware of the incident. It said it has taken corrective action to address any deficiencies related to the incident.