Family speaks out after caregiver found guilty

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MARSHALL COUNTY, Ind. --- A Marshall County family is speaking out following the guilty verdict of their disabled son’s caregiver.

“Living with disabilities is hard enough and it’s even harder for people in my position to make friends sometimes so I thought he was my employee first, but I thought he was my friend," said Cody Cole, the victim.

Cody and his twin brother Colton might not look a lot alike, but they both share one thing - cerebral palsy.

It’s a challenge both face everyday since birth.

They’ve used caregivers their entire lives, but they never imagined one would harm them — that’s until they met this man — Ashley Humphrey.

“You always try to think it won’t or put enough maybe shelter around them that it won’t, but it did," said Tamara Awald, Cody's Mother.

Cody says it all started after Humphrey and him had a disagreement about a local high school football game.

Tensions escalated resulting in Humphrey kicking his bedroom door in, hitting his wheelchair with excessive force, and grabbing him by the neck.

“I was trying to punch his hand off my neck, but he was too strong, and he wouldn’t budge like even though I was punching pretty dang hard like it was still not enough to get him off me," said Cody.

The close-knit family found Humphrey through a referral from Forte Healthcare.

He was an employee at this Plymouth location at the time of the September 2019 incident.

I reached out to the facility to get their thoughts on the case, but they’ve gone unanswered.

Cody’s mother who works in healthcare herself says she trusted the company and now she’s even more cautious when hiring for her boys.

“He seemed okay to me at the time. It’s troubling to me that maybe I missed something and maybe you know should have known or could have known," said Awald.

Wednesday- a Marshall County judge found Humphrey guilty of two felonies— battery of a disabled person resulting in bodily injury and strangulation.

There are claims Colton Cole called his brother Cody's testimony a lie - which he denies.

“If somebody’s picking on my family I’m always gonna have my family members back," said Colton.

Humphrey is due back in court for sentencing on May 17th.

He faces up to 7 years behind bars.

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