Ex-worker in Beatrice abuse case pleads no contest

BEATRICE, Neb. (AP) — A former Beatrice State Developmental Center worker accused of abusing developmentally disabled adults has pleaded no contest to five charges.

Matthew Pangborn changed his pleas Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors.

In July 2012, Pangborn was found guilty of four counts of abusing a vulnerable adult and several other charges.

He was sentenced to 15 to 23 years in prison, but an appeals court determined Pangborn should be retried because a chart prosecutors made shouldn’t have been given to the first jury during deliberations.

Pangborn faces up to 25 years in prison when he is sentenced Feb. 26 on three charges of abusing vulnerable adults and two charges of strangulation.

Sixteen center employees were fired or suspended and five were charged after an investigation into the alleged abuses.

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