GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - A former nurse aide at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans will likely be tried on a charge of fourth degree vulnerable adult abuse.
In court Friday morning, a judge set a jury trial after a settlement conference ended without a resolution.
Earlier this year, Laurie Botbyl told a Grand Rapids District Court judge she is "not guilty" of any kind of abuse for an incident at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans. She plans to fight the charge even though video shows her sending the wheelchair of an 83-year old veteran with dementia into a desk.
Video first obtained by the 13 Watchdog team shows Botbyl attempted to get the veteran, Maynard Mathers, under control as he was upset while he sat in a wheelchair.
Seconds later, the video shows Botbyl placing both of her hands on the chair's handles, pulled the chair in tight and pushed Mathers' wheelchair forward out of her control. Mathers knees and right arm hit a desk and he's seen on the video grasping his knees after the incident.
In an exclusive interview Botbyl did with the 13 Watchdog team before she was charged, she told us she shouldn't be held criminally liable for the incident.
"My intent was not to hurt him," Botbyl said. "I did not do anything to intentionally hurt that man. I would never do that. I wanted him off me."
Originally the Kent County Prosecutor's office early last year declined to charge Botbyl because they didn't have information on injuries to Mathers.
The 13 Watchdog team through its investigation early this year found information that Mathers was injured. Kent County's Prosecutor Chris Becker then re-opened the case and filed this charge.
Mathers died less than a month after our investigative report aired in January. He was taken out of the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans and placed into another care facility before his death.
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