Caregivers to be sentenced for abusing autistic man

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VISTA, Calif. — Two caregivers convicted of abusing a 23-year-old severely autistic Valley Center man under their care were scheduled to be sentenced Monday.

Registered nurse Michael Dale Garritson, 62, was convicted in April 22 of two felony counts of willful cruelty of a dependent adult likely to cause great bodily injury, four misdemeanor counts and acquitted on a seventh count. He faces up to eight years in prison.

In a separate trial, medical assistant Matthew Alexander Matthew McDuffie and Michael Garritson, 28, was found guilty May 14 of two misdemeanor counts of willful cruelty to a dependent adult. He was acquitted on two other similar counts and is expected to be given credit for jail time served.

Both men worked for the victim’s family for more than two years, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Varnau.

They were taken into custody last September after the victim’s mother, Kim Oakley, gave investigators more than 2,000 individual video recordings of the defendants allegedly abusing her 23-year-old son Jamey, the sergeant said.

The family set up a surveillance video system in the victim’s bedroom over a three-week period in August. The victim is severely autistic and does not speak, Varnau said.

Prosecutors said the abuse included poking the victim’s eyes, bending and twisting his arms and pulling his hair.

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