Nurse accused in nursing home feeding tube slashings recants confession

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The licensed practical nurse accused of cutting the feeding tubes of six Philadelphia nursing home residents on Sept. 22 initially admitted to the crime but then denied it, according to an affidavit released Monday.

Police questioned Joan Wood Barnes, 53, for hours on Sept. 23, asking her repeatedly if she had cut the tubes. She confessed but then recanted so that she could go home and pray, Detective Thad Wolkiewicz wrote in his affidavit.

Barnes was allowed to go home on condition that she return the next morning. However, Barnes fled to Toccoa, GA, where she was apprehended at the home of her mother-in-law. She was returned to Philadelphia earlier this month.

Barnes is being held on $500,000 bail in the city's women prison and charged with six counts each of simple assault, recklessly endangering another person and possession of an instrument of crime.

No harm was done to the six Philadelphia Nursing Home residents whose tubes were cut. Barnes, a visiting nurse, was working one of her last shifts at the facility when the incidents occurred.