March 12, 2014
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) -- A nurses' assistant at a state nursing home has been sentenced to five years in prison for selling rings that were stripped from the fingers of veterans under her care.
Twenty-four-year-old Ashley Michelle Sweeney of Franklin County was sentenced in Roanoke on Tuesday to 24 years in prison, with all but five suspended.
The Roanoke Times reports (http://bit.ly/URurpv ) that in tearful testimony, Sweeney said she pawned four wedding bands taken from patients at the Virginia Veterans Care Center to support her drug addiction.
As part of her sentence, Sweeney also was ordered never work as a nurse or nurses' assistant again.
Prosecutors say another aide and Sweeney's former partner took the rings from the patients and gave them to Sweeney. Brittney Heather Cook is scheduled to be sentenced next week.