Joiner, AR Police Chief Arrested For Elder Abuse

(Joiner, AR) Robert Yerbey, the police chief in Joiner, AR, has been arrested and charged with abuse of an endangered person and for not reporting it.

Last week, News Channel 3 told you about the death of 77-year-old Wilton Goudeaux Jr. in Joiner.

Goudeaux Jr. had served on city council and ran for mayor two years ago.

His son, Wilton Goudeaux III, and two others were charged with abuse of adults.

Scott Ellington, the Second Judicial District Prosecuting Attorney, said that Chief Yerbey is accused of not responding properly to a 911 call in late January.

Ellington said, “Yerbey intercepted that call, then reported that in fact he checked on Mr. Goudeaux Jr., and that Mr. Goudeaux was up and walking and had just gotten out of the shower and was fine.”

But investigators report the Department of Human Services found Goudeaux Jr. a short while later sitting in a chair, unresponsive.

“It’s shocking, actually,” Ellington said. “to say that he knew Mr. Goudeaux was in good shape when in fact he was comatose, taking advantage of an elderly person, not reporting, not investigating that.”

Goudeaux Jr. was taken to a hospital in Memphis, where he later died. Doctors told investigators he was malnourished.

Ellington said Yerbey is also accused of profiting by exchanging a small golf cart for Goudeaux Jr.’s camper trailer. The camper trailer is supposedly worth $6,000, much more than the golf cart.

Ellington said Yerbey also notarized a power of attorney without physically being present for signatures. This power of attorney allowed Wilton Goudeaux III to allegedly convince his father to withdraw more than $100,000 from a bank account.

“We are not going to stand by and let someone under color of law abuse their position,” Ellington said.

Investigators said that the victim, Goudeaux Jr., had Alzheimer’s disease. The report also states that all defendants: Goudeaux III, his girlfriend Tonya Patterson, and the caretaker Mary Odom, were using methamphetamine at the time they were caring for the victim.

When News Channel 3′s April Thompson was in Joiner investigating the story, the brother of one of the people arrested, pulled a gun on her and her photographer.

Brandon Odom was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

On Tuesday night, Odom’s father and a small group of citizens told News Channel 3 they feel Robert Yerbey and Brandon Odom are not guilty of their charges.

WATCH the video of the gun being pulled on April Thompson

READ more about this case

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