Seven people are facing charges in connection to the alleged beating of an autistic woman. Now, the victim's mother and other family members responsible for her care have been arrested.
Kelly Hamilton says the charges of disabled person abuse against her are unfounded. Hamilton says she was out of town when a family friend severely beat her 22-year-old daughter, Ashley.
Authorities also charged Richard Foss, Hamilton's fiancé, with reckless conduct.
"They're saying the reason for the charges are because we didn't immediately call the night we got home to see her in that condition, but that condition wasn't visible until the next day," said Hamilton. "They said 24 hours later the bruises would show after a beating to her head."
"Besides the cut on her lip and a broken tooth, those were the only visible signs the night we arrived," Foss said.
Authorities have also charged five other people in the case. Deputies say one family friend who cared for Ashley, 28-year-old Jesse Terrell Shedd, faces charges of battery and disabled person abuse for actually hitting the severely autistic woman.
"During that two hour timeframe, we don't know to what extent the abuse occurred, but the facts and circumstances led us to believe he did inflict substantial visible bodily injury on Ashley Hamilton," said Rabun County Sheriff's Office chief investigator Gerald Johnson.