Man accused of group home abuse gets probation
An Allen man who pleaded guilty to the beating of an autistic group home resident received an eight-year probation term and 60 days in jail at a sentencing hearing Friday.
Michael Reginald Fuller, 41, had a 10-year prison sentence suspended with the probation. If he violates the terms of his probation he will serve the full prison term and pay a fine of $500.
Fuller was employed as a caretaker at a group home, located at 801 Meadowcreek Drive, until June 2011, when prosecutors said he was caught on camera beating resident Taylor Hartley, 22, of Allen. The video footage was taken by Taylor's parents, Michael and Karen Hartley, who placed a hidden camera in Taylor's room after he began coming home for the weekends with bruises on his face and body.
Karen said employees of the group home would dismiss the injuries as accidents and falls caused by Taylor's mild case of muscular dystrophy. State investigations into the bruises going back to March 2010 all proved inconclusive.
The camera was installed in May 2011. The footage, reviewed by Karen and subsequently turned over to Allen police in June of that year, shows a man prosecutors say is Fuller enter Taylor's room, grab him by the collar and slap him in the face. The man returns 20 minutes later and strikes Taylor repeatedly in the head and body with a plastic toy rifle.
Fuller pleaded guilty to one count of injury to a disabled person in May of this year. He must complete 200 hours of community service as a term of the probation and undergo a substance abuse and psychological evaluation as well as anger management classes.