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Menahga woman charged with assault by caregiver

WADENA -- A Menahga woman was charged with assault for allegedly making threats about putting a woman in her care "out of her misery" and telling the woman to "cough it out" instead of giving her cough medicine.

Toni Joy Bunting, 48, was charged Aug. 10 in Wadena County District Court with fifth-degree assault by caregiver -- vulnerable adult.

According to court documents, Bunting worked at an adult foster care home, and on two occasions she refused to give a woman in her care cough medicine, instead telling the woman, "No, you need to cough it out" and told another person, "she needs to learn."

On another occasion, she told the woman in her care to pick up her scarf "or I will use it as a tourniquet," court records said.

She said she could put the woman "out of her misery without anyone hearing or knowing," according to court documents, and said she could strangle the woman in her care without her making a sound.

Bunting told an investigator the scarf comment was just a joke, and said she had apologized for it, court files showed.

Her first appearance was set for Aug. 31.