There was revealing testimony Thursday in a high-profile patient abuse case at Connecticut’s maximum security mental health hospital.
For years we have been hearing about the alleged abuse of longtime patient Bill Shehadi at the Whiting Forensic Hospital in Middletown.
Under oath, a former Whiting staffer told a jury what he witnessed.
Former forensic treatment specialist Lance Camby worked alongside former forensic nurse Mark Cusson on a shift in the winter of 2017, when he witnessed what investigators concluded was abuse of patient Bill Shehadi.
In the incident involving Cusson, caught on surveillance video in 2017, Camby described how Shehadi was abused by Cusson using a foam mattress.
“On one occasion I witnessed Mr. Cusson fold Mr. Shehadi in his mattress and then press down on top of him,” Camby said.
Cusson’s attorney Norm Pattis grilled Camby about how he agreed to testify against Cusson in exchange for a lighter sentence for the abuse charges Camby faces in connection with Shehadi’s treatment.
Pattis then began his defense of Cusson with a series of character witnesses, who worked with his client at Whiting, none of them though for extensive periods of time.
Tom Przybylowicz recounted one time when he saw Cusson talking with Shehadi, and Shehadi smiling back.
“I would watch him actually develop a relationship with these patients, in particular the patient that we're discussing.”
Pryzbylowicz said he retired from Whiting in 2015, two years before Cusson allegedly abused Shehadi.
Cusson’s defense team will continue presenting witnesses when the trial resumes.