Nicole Hernane

Fund set up for victim of beating

by John A. Winters

A fund to help defray massive medical costs for a woman who authorities say was severely beaten with a baseball bat by her live-in boyfriend is now set up.

Nicole Hernane is facing nearly $500,000 in medical costs associated with the beating at her home on Feb. 4. The problem is compounded because some of her doctors will not take Medicaid, Hernane said earlier this week.

She is on disability because of a severe fire several years ago when a water heater blew up. She was burned over 60 percent of her body. Since then, she has to rely on about $700 a month from disability. 

Her hospital bill at Atlanta Medical Center is about $350,000; another $28,000 is due to the air ambulance service; and her plastic surgeon is owed more than $10,000. She hasn’t even been able to get more therapy.

Hernane probably will lose her right eye. Both her arms were broken and the bones replaced with pins and steel bolts. Two fingers were broken and one wrist is shattered. She also has two metal plates in her head, where doctors had to replace part of her skull.

“He messed me up so bad,” she said recently. “I can’t frown. If I sneeze, it really hurts.”

Her boyfriend, David Bennett, 48, faces eight counts relating to the beating. After the attack, he drove to Atlanta, where authorities found and arrested him on Feb. 5.

Bennett’s charges include kidnapping, four counts of aggravated battery, one count of aggravated assault, terroristic threats and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He also is charged with sale of a controlled substance of sale of marijuana. The kidnapping charge was added and came about because Hernane ran out of the house with Bennett continuing to beat her, and then he dragged her back into the house, according to Coweta County Sheriff’s Office authorities.

The terroristic threats relates to threatening phone calls he made to several people while driving to Atlanta.

Vicki Schlobohm, with the Wells Fargo branch off Lower Fayetteville Road in the Kroger Shopping Center, said the fund is set up at that bank.

Those wishing to make a donation may send checks made out to Nicole Hernane to: Wells Fargo, 1725 Newnan Crossing Blvd. East, Newnan, GA 30265.

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