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Archive for Friday, May 25, 2001

Group home death case ends in acquittal

May 25, 2001

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A Winfield woman has been acquitted of assaulting a mentally disabled woman who later died.

Catherine Widener left the Cowley County Courthouse a free woman Wednesday, minutes after Judge Robert Bishop said he did not hear enough evidence to prove that Widener struck Jana Seidel at a Creative Community Living group home last year.

Seidel, 39, died March 6, 2000, from complications caused by her injuries.

Widener, 44, was fired from the home after an internal investigation into the matter.

During the two-day trial, the jury heard the coroner describe Seidel's injury a hole in her stomach as being a classic sign of assault. But jurors heard no witnesses testify to seeing Widener do anything inappropriate.

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