Former CNA accused of stealing, selling dementia patient’s jewelry appears in court

The case against a now-former certified nursing assistant accused of prying open the hands of a dementia patient who was in her care to steal her rings and sell them at a local pawn shop will head to Common Pleas Court.

Christina Ankney is accused of stealing rings from a patient at the Redstone Highlands Living Facility in Murrysville.

Ankney stayed silent as officers escorted her into Magistrate Judge Charles Conway’s courtroom, despite Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek asking why she allegedly stole rings from the hands of a dementia patient who was in her care at Redstone Highlands Assisted Living in Murrysville.

Police said because the victim had a hand condition that contracted her hands closed, Ankney pried open that woman’s hands to steal the rings. She later took them to a pawn shop and got $464.

“It is disheartening especially when you trust in your caregivers to care for your loved ones during the end of their lives,” said Murrysville Police Department Detective Matt Panigal the day of Ankney’s arrest.

Ankney has been held in the Westmoreland County Prison since her arrest on Aug. 23, as she was unable to post bail.

She was actually arrested that day when she showed up for a preliminary hearing on a similar charge in North Huntingdon.

There, she was accused of stealing a 94-year-old woman’s wedding ring, engagement ring, and a necklace, also from a Redstone Highlands facility apartment.

Police said she sold that jewelry to a pawn shop for $140.

Ankney was employed by a third party and was working as a nursing assistant for that assisted living company. Their CEO told Channel 11′s Andrew Havranek last month that they were disgusted and hoped there would be swift justice for the victims and their families.

This isn’t the only job Ankney is alleged to have stolen money from.

She faces federal charges after being indicted in March for stealing an envelope with money inside while she was a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service.

In court Tuesday, the judge lowered her bail from $10,000 on both charges in Murrysville to $5,000 each. Her defense attorney declined an interview but said in court that Ankney has set up inpatient rehab for when she is released from jail.

He told the judge aside from these four pending cases, Ankney didn’t have a criminal history but blamed the stress of aging on the recent theft.

He said, “Approaching 40 has been a burden on her mind.”

Ankney is due back in court in October for her charges in North Huntingdon, and then again in November for her charges in Murrysville.

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