Abuse on Camera: Nurse's criminal record cleared, family outrage - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Abuse on Camera: Nurse's criminal record cleared, family outraged

Posted: Updated:

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - In court Friday, Kimberlee Oaklee came face to face with Michael Garritson, the man who was convicted in 2013 of repeatedly abusing her severely autistic adult son James, while working as his caregiver.

Severe abuse was captured on surveillance cameras that she and her husband, Mark, had set up, that included James's hair being pulled, his arms being twisted and his eyes being gouged.

"The type of abuse I saw on the video surveillance was so heinous that it should never be expunged," Kimberlee said.

But Garritson's felony convictions were completely erased from his criminal record.

"He is legally entitled to this relief. It is not a debate over whether it's a good idea or not. That's a decision the legislature makes," Natalie Villaflor, Deputy District Attorney, said.

It was a decision that infuriated James's parents.

"He is going to go on and do this again, his past is checkered with abuse," Mark said.

A past that includes being tried for second degree murder in the 80s in connection with the death of a 13-month-old boy under Garritson's care, which resulted in a deadlocked jury and ultimate mistrial.

Then in 2002, Garritson pled guilty to felony animal neglect after more than 150 dogs were taken from his valley center home. That felony was also erased from his record.

In court, Garritson tried to defend his actions captured on surveillance video, saying he was trying to keep James, who can't speak, from harming himself.

"I never in any way tried to hurt him. I guess I just didn't do a very good job," he said.

"I was absolutely furious. I felt like I was going to pass out I was so angry. He is clearly a sociopath, " Kimberlee said.

Garritson lost his license as a registered nurse, but is able to apply for jobs as a private caregiver without disclosing his past felonies. 

Kimberlee says it is now her mission to lobby state legislators to get the law changed so that abuse of this kind can't be expunged from a convicted felon's record in the future.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.