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Former Nurse Charged With Abuse

Nov 19, 2002 | A former nurse is charged with abusing three senior citizens in a local nursing home. The allegations at the Claiborne and Hughes Health Center in Franklin surfaced in August. Since then, the former nurse has been fired and arrested on assault charges.

Monday night, Gwendolyn Martin bonded out of the Williamson County jail after being arrested on three counts of assault. The 27-year-old is accused of abusing three women - 88, 83, and 69 years of age. The seniors reportedly are confined to walkers and wheelchairs.

"All of the victims expressed fear when we talked to them."

Investigators told News 2 the alleged abuse happened at Claiborne and Hughes Health Center, where Martin had worked as a certified nurses aid since June of 2001.

Sources told News 2 the allegations surfaced this past summer, when other staff members noticed injuries and unexplained bruising on the senior citizens.

"There were marks on two of the three victims that were consistent with the stories they told," said Detective Charles Warner.

Officials at the center wouldn't talk on camera, but they told News 2 as soon as they learned of the allegations, they launched their own investigation. We're told that Martin was suspended, and after the investigation concluded, she was fired. We're also told that's when the police investigation from a criminal standpoint began.

"I'm shocked," said a woman, who doesn't want to be identified, with two parents in the facility. "I just hate that someone like that was even working in the facility where my mother and daddy are in."

The woman said news of martin's arrest is upsetting, but not surprising.

"There are some very good techs in this nursing home. There are some I wouldn't want taking care of a dog."

During her police interview, authorities said Gwendolyn martin did express regret.

"She appeared to be remorseful."

We checked with the state, and we're told Claiborne and Hughes did everything by the book, quickly alerting authorities when the allegations surfaced, and are a facility in good standing this evening.

As for Martin, she is out of jail on a $1,000 bond. She has no prior criminal record or red flags from the other nursing home she worked in before coming to Franklin. Police said there is no reason to believe there are other alleged victims.

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