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Feb 20, 2013 11:23 AM

Woman Accused In Abuse Case Involving Mentally-Challenged Adult Pleads Not Guilty

A Powell County woman accused of abusing and neglecting a mentally-challenged adult pleaded not guilty in the case Wednesday.

Ruby Richardson turned herself in to police on Monday. She is accused of abusing and neglecting a woman with the mental capacity of a child. Police say the abuse and neglect investigation involving Richardson was extreme. Sheriff's deputies said the victim, Mary Rose Swift, was beaten and even forced to eat dog food.

Richardson told LEX 18 on Monday night that the allegations against her are not true. "They set out to get me and they did just what they wanted to do," Richardson said. "It's just bad how people can take things and twist them around and destroy somebody else's life."

In January, Sheriff's deputies said they found 53-year-old Mary Rose Swift, a woman with the mental capacity of a child, inside of a home on Martin Street in Stanton. Swift apparently told investigators that Richardson, the woman she had lived with for more than a year, dropped her off two weeks earlier without any food, heat, or medicine.

"I was never placed as Mary Rose's guardian," Richardson said. "She was never placed in my home. She came to my home just like everybody else did and took up because I don't have the heart to run nobody off."

According to court documents, Swift said she had been beaten, forced to eat dog food and table scraps and even had her disability checks stolen.

"I did not steal nothing from her nor would I steal anything from anybody. Never. I wouldn't do that," Richardson told LEX 18.

Deputies said almost a dozen witnesses in the case claim to have seen Richardson abusing Swift over the last year and a half. Richardson said she was set up by the Sheriff's Department and by some members of her own family.

"They've said I'm armed and dangerous and desperate. I would never hurt nobody. Nobody," Richardson said.

A grand jury indicted Richardson two weeks ago and when the deputy went to her house to serve the warrant, he said she had moved out. Richardson told LEX 18 that she was not running and left because she was scared that police would kill her. She even claimed the sheriff of Powell County knew she would be moving out.

"I'm innocent of all charges and I will prove my innocence in court. I am innocent," Richardson said.

Investigators said they recently learned Richardson had taken out a $10,000 life insurance policy on Swift. Richardson claims Swift asked her to do that.

Richardson is being held on an $85,000 full cash bond. Her lawyer tried to get the bond reduced, but the judge in the case refused, saying Richardson is a flight risk and a danger to the community.

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