Senior home owner arrested for theft, elder abuse

By Amye Anderson
UCBJ Managing Editor

COOKEVILLE – Stephanie Butler, owner of the Senior Lifestyles group home, was arrested late last week on three separate charges – two charges of theft and one charge of elder abuse. 

Though Butler has since reportedly made bail, district attorney Bryant Dunaway told the UCBJ that additional charges in the case are likely in the future. 

Stephanie Butler

“Even after the execution of the search warrants a week or two ago, she’s continued to conduct improper behavior,” Dunaway said of the decision to arrest Butler last Friday. 

“That’s not all that’s to come related to her,” Dunaway said. 

Among the charges, Dunaway says that one stems from reports that Butler took medication from one of the facility’s residents offsite, depriving the resident of that medication. 

“The investigation is still very much ongoing,” Dunaway said. “We anticipate her facing much more than that.”

Dunaway’s office is currently reviewing documents and other items as part of the investigation into allegations of misconduct against Butler. No timeframe was provided regarding when additional charges may be revealed. Investigators from the Cookeville Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and TBI assisted with the searches. 

Butler is the wife of Ed Butler, who is actively campaigning for the office of District 41 state representative and is the owner of AE Fire Protection. Both are residents of the Rickman community. 

Senior Lifestyles, whose physical address is 1125 Deer Creek Rd. and is the same structure at the center of the Living the Dream scandal in 2012, was purchased at auction in 2014. Senior Lifestyles, LLC, shares the same mailing address as AE Fire Protection (723 W. Jackson St.) which was also reportedly raided as a part of the ongoing investigation. 

There are roughly 40 residents of the facility, which is regulated by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health; though, that number is likely to decrease as the department works to ensure existing residents are cared for and placed in other homes, according to a spokesperson there.

Amye Anderson is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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