Elderly Man Waits In Limbo At County Jail
Published: October 17th, 2008
By: Tyler Murphy

NORWICH – An 85-year-old nursing home resident who has been in the county jail since his arrest was diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia about a year and a half before his incarceration, said his defense attorney.

Leonard Bentley was a resident at the Chase Memorial Nursing Home in New Berlin until he was arrested by sheriff’s deputies Oct. 3. after staff contacted police and filed a complaint. Bentley was charged with a class B misdemeanor for allegedly exposing himself to residents at the facility.

Town of New Berlin Justice Joseph Brillinger remanded him to the Chenango County Correctional Facility on $1,000 cash bail following his arrest Oct. 3.

Public Defender Kayphet Mavady said his client had been diagnosed with frontal lobe dementia by the psychiatric unit at Bassett Healthcare in Oneonta over 18 months ago.

Mavady also said that two facilities, Binghamton General and the Rome Behavioral Unit, had denied a request to house his client.

“Both facilities said they lack beds, but also raised concerns that currently there is no long term plan in place for Mr. Bentley. They are concerned that following his evaluation, the county wouldn’t take him back,” said Mavady.

“He has nowhere to go and there is currently no plan in place, so he’s in jail,” said Mavady.

Assistant District Attorney James P. Chamberlain said he was working out release arrangements earlier in the week, when concerns were raised on the defendant’s behalf by his counsel regarding his personal safety and the safety of others.

In April, the Otsego County Sheriff’s Office conducted a search for Bentley saying he had dementia and was attempting to hitchhike to Albany for a non-existent medical appointment.

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