Call to close Newark boarding home after alleged assault

May 4, 2011 4:06:40 PM PDT
There's calls to close a New Jersey boarding home.

It comes just days after a resident was attacked, but during Wednesday's press conference things quickly got out of hand.

Through the front glass doors of the Hill Boarding Home in Newark, you see outrage on the face of former New Jersey Governor Richard Codey, and frustration on the faces of the mother and son team who own and operate the facility.

Eyewitness News had a front row seat to this private confrontation the about living conditions inside.

What set it all off was the violent Monday night attack of 64-year-old Margie Barber.

"She was found unconscious. She went out fully clothed. She was undressed from the waist down. She was beaten to a bloody pulp," said Codey.

Because of the assault, and the findings of a surprise inspection in February--Governor Codey and other state leaders are calling for the state to shut the boarding home down.

"We found feces all over the kitchen. We found four to a room in small rooms. We found no linens, at the time there was no hot water and no toilet paper in the bathrooms," adds Codey.

The owner Jessica Hill was reluctant at first but only allowed Governor Codey and Darla Miles inside for our own private tour without our cameras.

The Hills defended themselves saying don't receive federal or state funding for the 27 people who live at the home, and denied housing sex offenders.

"I cried when I went to the hospital and seen that lady like that. That woman lived inside for 14 years. She's a part of my life,' said Charles Hill.

Eyewitness News was allowed back inside a second time, this time with our cameras for a tour with state assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker.

"Maybe the should the place down until they can renovate it properly to make it really decent and safe," said Tucker.

Barber is currently in critical condition at University Hospital.

"Given the serious nature of the alleged assault and the victim's grave condition, we have become actively involved in investigating this case along with the Newark Police department,'' said Acting Prosecutor Murray.

At this point, no arrests have been made and no suspects have been identified. The investigation is active and ongoing.

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