Chattanooga: Mistrial declared in Small case

Chattanooga: Mistrial declared in Small case

June 9th, 2011 by Staff Report in Local Regional News

Walter Small looked back at the rest of Judge Rebecca Stern's courtroom during his trial at the City-County Courts building. Small was originally charged with criminally negligent homicide as well as filing false reports in connection with the death of Robert Young. Prosecutors later dropped the charge of criminally negligent homicide and Small was on trial only for filing false reports.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

A mistrial has been declared in the trial of a former Chattanooga health care worker accused of lying to police about events surrounding the death of a patient.

The Hamilton County jury deadlocked on three counts of giving false reports to police in the trial of Walter Small.

Small, 43, was a caregiver for Robbie Young when Young died Nov. 12, 2007, at The Health Care Center at Standifer Place.

A 60-pound cerebral palsy patient, Young could not physically care for himself. Small and other nurses' aides had to bathe, clean, bed and feed him.

Small initially told police that he checked on Young, saw him having a seizure and alerted nurses. But later he said Young was in the shower when he fell back and his head hit the shower bar "and bounced," according to testimony this week.

See Friday's Times Free Press for complete coverage.