The Case That Prompted this Blog
May 7, 2012
Motorcycle Champ Gets Year in Jail for Elder Abuse (USA)
By JULIA REYNOLDS
Herald Staff Writer
A curt Judge Russell Scott cut short former grand prix motorcycle-racing champion Joe Cubbage's final statement before sentencing him to a year in jail for felony elder abuse Friday.
Saying Cubbage was uttering "some of the foulest things I've heard in quite a while," Scott said he had "never done this before," but felt compelled to interrupt the defendant.
"This is not the time and place to exacerbate the consequences of your actions," Scott admonished, adding that Cubbage showed no remorse despite pleading no contest in March to one charge of theft from an elder.
Cubbage was also originally charged with grand theft and money laundering in taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the accounts of his father Johnnie Cubbage, who suffers from dementia.
After a tearful statement by his sister Mayaria Shapiro, Cubbage also broke down at one point, saying, "I would do anything for my father."
In court documents, Cubbage has stated he was the only one in the family protecting his father's interests when he obtained power of attorney and set up a corporation in which he controlled 90 percent of the elder Cubbage's monies.
In court Friday, he cited a scathing remark that he said his mother once made about his father, causing a stir in the courtroom.
A moment later, Scott, cut him off.
"You are bound and determined to impose your will," Scott said. "You (attempted to use) the court as an instrument to inflict pain. That's not going to happen."
Scott added that Cubbage's words were "actually an aggravating circumstance" to his original crime.
In addition to the jail time, Cubbage was ordered to immediately return any money or property received from his parents between May 20, 2009, and April 30, 2010.
When defense attorney Elizabeth Navarro asked if the order included small gift items such as a hat, Scott said, "What I'm referring to is everything you got. Everything. Underwear."
Navarro said Cubbage had a fair chance of winning at trial, but agreed to a plea because "it was the only way he was going to be able to see his father."
However, Cubbage was ordered to stay away from both his parents and his sister.
In asking for leniency, Navarro noted that every time money was deducted from the father's accounts, "Johnnie was present," though she acknowledged that Joe "did benefit" from the transactions.
She presented Scott with videos that showed father and son on a $40,000 trip to Europe in which, she said, Johnnie Cubbage was clearly enjoying himself.
Prosecutor Jim Davis said the man was already showing signs of dementia when the videos were shot and he described scenes of Cubbage screaming and berating his father.
A hearing will be scheduled to determine any restitution owed to Cubbage's relatives.
SOURCE: The Monterey Herald
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