Alberta Owensby

Grand jury indicts woman after she allegedly lacerated 74-year-old man’s leg

A Rhea County woman is facing several counts of elder abuse after she was indicted by the Rhea County Grand Jury earlier this month.

Alberta Owensby, 47, is facing several abuse and other charges after investigators with the Rhea County Sheriff’s Department [RCSD] allege she abused a 74-year-old man in her care.

RCSD Investigator Rocky Potter said the investigation in May 2018 when dispatchers at the 911 center in Evensville received a call regarding an elderly male that had suffered a laceration on one of his legs. Potter said that the damage was so severe that the man had to be taken to Erlanger in Chattanooga.

“It was to the point where they thought he might lose his lower leg,” Potter said.

Potter said that while the man was being treated by first responders with the Rhea County ambulance service and by healthcare officials at Rhea Medical Center, he disclosed that he had been subject to abuse.

First responders notified Potter of the alleged abuse, and an official with Rhea Medical Center called the adult protective services hotline.

“Nothing gets by them,” Potter said, praising local medical professionals. “They immediately called and let us know what was going on.”

Potter said after investigating the case, he learned that Owensby had entered into a relationship with the man nearly five years ago and recently been in a caretaker role.

“Based on the information we gathered and the victim’s disclosure, we presented it to the Rhea County Grand Jury,” Potter said.

The grand jury handed down indictments for two counts of domestic violence, two counts of adult abuse, one count of aggravated assault, one count of adult neglect and one count of assault with a deadly weapon.

Owensby was arrested and booked into the Rhea County Jail on Friday, Aug. 10. Her bond was placed at $10,000, and she has since bonded out. However, Potter said that “no contact order” is in place.

To report elder abuse to the state’s anonymous hotline, call 1-888-277-8366.