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December 15, 2011

Plea Bargain Reached in Elder Abuse Case (USA)

Plea bargain reached in elder abuse case
BY SARAH BURGE
STAFF WRITER
12 December 2011

A 46-year-old widow charged with multiple felonies against her elderly husband, including grand theft and neglect, pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors in a deal with prosecutors.
Investigators said Shawna Verdugo, of Oceanside, stole and was given a total of $500,000 belonging to her husband, Johannes Holzel, of Temecula, who died in 2010 at age 74.
Verdugo pleaded guilty Friday to neglect and eavesdropping and was sentenced to community service, three days in jail and probation, court records show.
Verdugo admitted secretly recording conversations with her husband.
Married in 2008, the couple never lived together. In 2009, Holzel lost a leg to gangrene because he did not receive timely medical care.
Investigators said Verdugo drained her ailing husband’s bank accounts. But the defense said, with Holzel deceased, the prosecution could not prove she obtained the money fraudulently.


SOURCE:      The Press-Enterprise
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