Archive for the ‘Jury’ Category

Jury Trial Expected in Jeffrey Schend Case

March 15, 2012

A former Appleton guardian accused of stealing from his elderly and disabled clients is expected to go to trial in July.

Jeffrey M. Schend, 45, appeared in Outagamie County Court today for a status conference on six felony counts of theft and one misdemeanor theft count.

Judge Gregory Gill Jr. told attorneys the case would likely go to trial in July, though didn’t immediately set dates for the trial, which is expected to last a week.

As a guardian, Schend was appointed by county judges to handle finances for elderly and disabled people deemed incompetent to manage their own affairs.

Officials weren’t able to account for about $500,000 from the estates of his former clients.

The trial had been scheduled to begin [March 12], though was delayed based on the continuing investigation. Outagamie County hired a forensic accountant to review Schend’s finances.

The review was recently completed, and attorneys are expected to meet with the accountant as soon as next week.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Melinda Tempelis said it’s still likely prosecutors would file additional charges against Schend before the case reaches trial.

Full Article and Source:
July Trial Expected in Case of Jeffrey M. Schend, Former Appleton Guardian Charged with Theft of Elderly, Disabled Clients

See Also:
The Jeffrey Schend Case

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>Jury Awards $2.5 mil to Widow in False Elder Abuse Case

June 1, 2011

>A Los Angeles Superior Court jury awarded $2.5 million Wednesday to a widow who alleged her mentally impaired spouse was removed from her care based on lies motivated by greed.

Jurors deliberated nine days before finding in favor of Robin Rodriguez, who maintained that Robert Acciani, a former deputy city attorney in Torrance, used his influence with law enforcement to build a false case of financial and elder abuse against her.

The jury found a conspiracy existed to inflict emotional distress upon Robin Rodriguez and to commit trespass.

Robin Rodriguez wept as the verdict was announced in her favor. She later joined her attorneys to thank jurors in the hallway.

Her suit alleged that Acciani and his wife helped remove Rami Rodriguez from his Rolling Hills Estates home after he developed dementia, prompting Robin Rodriguez to wage a lengthy court battle to get him back, which she did some 15 months later in January 2005.

Rami Rodriguez was a millionaire real estate investor and nightclub owner. His widow filed her suit in June 2008 in Los Angeles Superior Court against the Accianis, the county and four members of the Sheriff’s Department: Detectives Curtis Henderson and Christina Moreno-Anderson, Sgt. Barbara White and Deputy Kwan Chow. All denied any wrongdoing and also said Robert Acciani did not influence any aspect of their work in the Rodriguez case.

Chow was exonerated of all allegations against him.

“We all were just trying to do our jobs,” Chow said outside the courtroom.

Henderson testified he did not believe Rami Rodriguez’s removal from his home was motivated by greed and that he would have taken action against the Accianis if he thought they did anything illegal.

Henderson and White are now retired.

Rodriguez maintained the members of the Sheriff’s Department pursued a meritless criminal investigation against her after she won her husband’s return. He died in August 2006 at age 66.

Full Article and Source:
Jury Awards $2.5M to Widow in False Elder Abuse Case

>Jury Decides Richard Morse is Incapacitated

April 3, 2011

>After a rare trial, a Clark County jury has found a Vancouver man incapacitated and unable to make decisions about his money and medical care.

Jurors deliberated for more than nine hours Thursday and Friday before deciding shortly after 1 p.m. Friday that a third-party professional guardian should be appointed to make financial and medical decisions on behalf of Richard Morse, 72. The jury’s ruling that Morse is incapacitated means they found him unable to provide for his safety and health and manage his finances.

The case was rare in that it was apparently the first time that 12 Clark County citizens were asked to decide a guardianship case, rather than a judge.

At least 10 jurors were required to find Morse incapacitated in order to strip him of his rights to make his own decisions. Morse preserved some of his rights, but the 10-juror requirement was met on all the “big ones,” said Morse’s attorney, Jim Senescu of Dimitrov & Senescu.

Addressing Superior Court Judge John Wulle, Senescu said immediately after the ruling, “I will explain to Mr. Morse he has essentially lost the rights the jury has voted on.”

One juror sided with Morse on all counts, while another joined to make it a 10-2 margin on some decisions over Morse’s fitness.

Senescu after the ruling returned to a point he made in his closing argument that Morse, a veteran of the Vietnam War, lost rights he once fought to preserve. “That says it all,” he said.

The unusual case was brought by Vancouver Health & Rehabilitation Center, where Morse has been living for more than a year. The center’s attorney, Rachel Brooks, argued during the four-day trial that Morse had problems living on his own and managing his medicine and his health.

Concerning his finances, Morse has a $600,000 estate yet never has had a bank account, Brooks argued, and he’s not used to paying bills.

Senescu said that Morse would appeal.

Specifically, a third-party guardian now will decide when and where Morse gets medical care. Financially, Morse cannot enter into a contract, engage in real estate transactions or sue or be sued.

Morse retained the right to vote, make or revoke a will, marry or divorce, drive a vehicle and make decisions regarding social aspects of his life.

A hearing was scheduled for 10:30 a.m. April 27 to decide on a guardian for Morse.

“I don’t think this is the end,” Morse said. “Now it’s up to the Lord.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship Jury Finds Man, 72, Unable to Care for Self

See Also:
Jury Receives Rare Guardianship Case

72 Year Old Man Takes Guardianship Case to Jury

>72-Year-Old Man Takes Guardianship Case to Jury

April 1, 2011

>The Vancouver (WA) Columbian reports: “As his attorney tells it, Richard Morse’s trial that starts today is about the balance between government and individual freedom. The 72-year-old man’s nursing home wants to become his legal guardian and take control of his $600,000 estate. Morse believes he’s perfectly capable of taking care of himself.

At issue is whether Morse is incapacitated and doesn’t have the ability to make decisions about his money and his care. Vancouver Health and Rehabilitation Center filed the petition for guardianship in May after Morse was staying there following hospitalization for infected leg wounds.”

Full Article and Source:
Washington Man, 72, Takes Guardianship Case to Jury