Man sent to jail for elderly abuse |

Man sent to jail for elderly abuse

by Merrie Leininger, staff writer

A Minden man was sentenced to four months in the Douglas County Jail and six months were suspended on two counts related to neglecting the care of his elderly mother.

William Kroyer, 61, pleaded guilty to two gross misdemeanors, neglect of the elderly and exploitation of the elderly. A real estate agent found Charlotte Kroyer, whom she assumed was dead or dying, in William Kroyer’s house near the Lahontan Fish Hatchery.

Investigators said in their report, the odor in the home was so foul, the smell drove them from the room.

Mrs. Kroyer died shortly after her son and grandson were arrested.

In court Monday, Kroyer denied there was vomit his mother’s clothes, as stated in the police report, but said it was food she had spilled down her front.

Kroyer’s attorney, Tod Young, told Judge Michael Gibbons that Kroyer was not the best caregiver, and he would not want Kroyer to be responsible for him in his old age, but that Kroyer did not intentionally neglect his mother or cause her harm.

“Mr. Kroyer freely admits he did not care for his mother as he should have, but that it was not out of malice,” said Young. “I know he wishes he had done better. I have spent more time with Bill Kroyer than with any non-murder case client in years. I had an opportunity to see that remorse.”

Kroyer was accused, and pleaded guilty as part of negotiations, to using his mother’s Social Security check for his own gain. Young said that money was used for household bills. He said, even though Kroyer was not working at the time of his arrest, he had taken a second mortgage out on his house to help pay for her care.

“She knew what was going on,” Young said. He said the 93-year-old woman was deaf. “They developed a system of communication, a modified sign language. This is not a case of someone locking up an old person and abusing them. Mr. Kroyer could have done better. I think he’s learned a great deal from this.”

Kroyer had left his son, Erik, in charge of his mother’s care while Kroyer went to Mexico for dental care. He was not in the country when the police were called in to investigate. Erik pleaded to a lesser charge and was given probation.

Young asked that Kroyer not be sent to jail because he now has been working as a handyman, and must pay the mortgage on his Minden home, and on another home in California. Young said Kroyer has no criminal record.

The judge said a strong message needs to be sent to Kroyer and the public.

“When you decide to take that responsibility for someone, you need to do it right,” Gibbons said. “It’s really sad her last days, weeks or months were spent living like this.”

For the first count of neglect of the elderly, Kroyer was sentenced to four months in jail. For the second count of exploitation of the elderly, he was sentenced to six months in jail, suspended. His probation will not exceed three years. He must pay restitution for any hospital bills, submit to search and seizure for financial records or indications of fraud, keep a full-time job and perform 80 hours of community service work.

Kroyer was granted time to settle business matters with a renter. He must turn himself in Monday morning to start his sentence.