Warner Robins political activist, others indicted on exploitation charges

WARNER ROBINS — Four people have been indicted on exploitation charges in connection with a 2011 investigation into Dusk to Dawn Ministry, which provides services to the disabled and elderly, Houston County court records show.

Longtime political activist Nora Etta Reese, 54, and Robert Marshall Laughlin, 24, both of Warner Robins, are accused of failing to provide heated accommodations for five people, of taking Social Security benefits from two people and of withholding prescription medications from one person, the March 26 indictment stated.

In addition, William Larry Shearin, 63, of Macon, and Charles Ira Drake, 59, of Hawkinsville, are accused of taking Social Security benefits from one person, the indictment stated.

The acts allegedly took place from Oct. 1, 2011, to Nov. 2, 2011.

Kelly Burke, a Warner Robins attorney representing the four, said none of them did anything wrong.

Burke said several of the clients from which accusations were based have continued to board with Reese since she and those who worked with her were arrested Nov. 8, 2011. All are free on bond.

In the time that has passed since then, Burke said he thought the prosecution had recognized it did not have a case. He said he's prepared to defend the four in court.

The four were arrested in 2011 at Dusk to Dawn Ministry at 413 Curtis St. by Warner Robins police, who assisted personnel of Georgia Adult Protective Services and the Healthcare Facility Regulation Division of the Georgia Department of Community Heath, the Warner Robins police incident report stated. Dusk to Dawn Ministry had several housing units.

Reese and Laughlin were indicted on nine counts of abuse/neglect/exploitation of a disabled/elderly person, according to the indictment. Shearin and Drake were charged with one count of abuse/neglect/exploitation of a disabled/elderly person, the indictment stated.

Burke said he did not know whether Reese was continuing to offer boarding under the Dusk to Dawn Ministry name or was operating under a different name. He said he learned of the indictment Tuesday when contacted by The Telegraph.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.


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