For Immediate Release - April 28, 2011

Former Certified Nursing Assistant Convicted for Abusing 64 Year Old Nursing Home Resident

SPRINGFIELD - A Springfield District Court jury has convicted a Springfield woman in connection with assaulting an elderly nursing home resident while she was working as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) assigned to the East Longmeadow Skilled Nursing Center in East Longmeadow MA, Attorney General Martha Coakley announced today.

Alvira Knibbs, age 57, was convicted of Assault and Battery on an Elderly Person. Following the trial, District Court Judge Robert A. Gordon sentenced Knibbs to serve one year of supervised probation with conditions that she have no contact with the victim and that she not be employed in an occupation involving patient care or patient services during the period of probation.

The Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). Investigators discovered that in August 2008, while Knibbs and another CNA were transferring the 64 year old victim from her bed to a wheelchair, Knibbs physically assaulted the victim. Investigators learned that the other CNA witnessed the incident and asked Knibbs to leave the room.

Knibbs was arraigned in Palmer District Court on October 27, 2009 at which time she entered a plea of not guilty and was released on personal recognizance and ordered not to have any contact with the victim or witnesses. Knibbs was convicted on April 26, 2011, following a one-day trial. A Springfield District Court jury returned with a guilty verdict after approximately 45 minutes of deliberation.

Assistant Attorney General George Zachos of AG Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Victim Witness Advocate Ashley Cinelli.