2012-02-23 / Local & State

Caregiver Cleared In Down Syndrome Patient Death

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. (AP) – A caregiver has been found not guilty in the death of a Down syndrome patient during a struggle at a central Pennsylvania care home.

The jury needed less than 90 minutes Tuesday to clear Joseph Easton in the September 2010 death of 37-yearold Timothy Bradford Smith.

Easton had been charged with involuntary manslaughter for pinning down Smith inside the Franklin County home owned by an adult care agency. Autopsy found Smith died of traumatic asphyxia.

Easton told authorities Smith had become enraged when ordered to clean up after repeatedly soiling himself. Easton said he was trying to protect himself and Smith by restraining him.

Smith's sisters said in a statement there should be accountability for Smith's death. Civil suits against Easton, the care agency and another caretaker are pending.

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