Couple accused of elderly abuse, deaths plead innocent

SEQUIM — The couple charged with abusing elderly patients at their in-home care center pleaded innocent Friday in Clallam County Superior Court.

Attorneys for Carolyn Sue Hardwick and John Kenneth Packer, who operated the now-closed Garden Grove Adult Family Care Facility in Sequim, entered the pleas and argued for Judge Ken Williams to lift a no-contact order between the two.

The judge agreed, and also scheduled the trial for May 31, although he acknowledged that it will likely be postponed.

Outside the courtroom following the short hearing, Packer’s attorney, Ron Ness of Port Orchard, reiterated his client’s plea.

“He pled not guilty,” Ness said. “That means he didn’t do it.”

Ness said Packer lost his job last week because of publicity surrounding the case.

Port Angeles attorney Karen Unger represents Hardwick.

“They’re innocent until proven guilty,” Unger said. “That’s what it says in the Constitution. It would be nice if people remembered that.”

Charges filed

Hardwick, 58, and Packer, 33, were each charged last week in Superior Court with two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one count of first-degree criminal mistreatment, and two counts of second-degree criminal mistreatment.

The charges involve five patients in their 80s who lived at Garden Grove between 2001 and 2002.

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