NC mental hospital workers given more severe punishment

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Two fired workers of a state mental hospital who had appealed a judge's ruling that they beat a patient have been convicted again by a jury, and this time their punishment is more severe.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Saturday that Taniko Upton and William Johnson were found guilty a second time Friday of assaulting a handicapped person, a misdemeanor. Witnesses testified the two punched and kicked a 30-year-old bipolar patient for several minutes at Cherry Hospital in Goldsboro last August.

The newspaper reports the two had appealed a Wayne County judge's November verdict to Superior Court for retrial before a jury.

The jury sentenced them to 60 days in jail and a $250 fine. The judge had sentenced the pair to four weekends in jail and 50 hours of community service.

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