Three charged with abuse of mentally handicapped man

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He was cuffed to a post while they ate at a restaurant

By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor


  BRONSON — Three people have been charged with mistreatment of a 51-year-old mentally handicapped man who was found malnourished and weighing between 80 to 100 pounds when found by deputies acting on an anonymous tip.   One officer who saw the victim said he looked like a prisoner of war.

A Levy County Sheriff’s Office press release said the trio, who were his caretakers, has admitted to leaving the man handcuffed in a home on Mashburn Drive for up to four hours while they dined in a restaurant. The man said he was fed rice and beans and was always hungry.

He has been hospitalized with lacerations to both wrists from being handcuffed and severe sores on his buttocks that were infected, bruising and lacerations on his ribs, and a contusion on his left eye.

The case began when caller to the Levy County Sheriff’s 911 line asked that they check on the well being of the man, according to a Sheriff’s Office press release. The woman, who called on Monday, Jan. 12, said she was concerned about the man’s mental and physical condition and if he did not receive medical attention he would die.

She also said the three people arrested in the case would handcuff and tie the man to a 4x4 post inside the residence on Mashburn Drive.

When Cpl. Bubba Wells went to the home he was met in the yard by Kenneth Sanderford who told the officer the man was all right and there was no need to check on him. But he later agreed to allow Wells into the home where he found the man very malnourished.

The victim told Investigator Mike Narayan that the trio had handcuffed and or tied him to the post inside the residence for the past year.

Johnny Ray Sanderford, 33, is charged with false imprisonment, abuse of a disabled adult and domestic battery. He is charged with punching the victim in the face, which resulted in the contusion.

Kenneth Wilbur Sanderford, 53, is charged with neglect of a disabled adult.

Candace P. Sanderford, 59, is charged with neglect of a disabled adult.

The men were arrested on Tuesday and the woman was taken into custody on Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office press release said the handicapped man has lived with the Sanderfords in North Carolina and moved to Levy County with them six years ago. The victim received a disability check and Candace Sanderford admitted to officers that she cashed his checks and paid herself $200 for taking care of him.