Woman gets probation for bilking 85-year-old
May 3, 2007
A Gardnerville Ranchos woman was sentenced to probation Wednesday and told she can’t work with the elderly after she admitted writing $800 in unauthorized checks against the account of an 85-year-old woman.
Janet Healy, 64, said the money had been repaid to the woman for whom she worked as a housekeeper.
East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl suspended 30 days in Douglas County Jail for the misdemeanor theft charge.
He told Healy she may not work for anyone age 65 or over for one year.
According to reports, Healy admitted forging four checks for $200 each. She said the victim occasionally gave her signed blank checks for expenses.
She told investigators her granddaughter needed heart surgery and her children didn’t have enough money.
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The victim’s daughter called authorities after she noticed her mother’s checking account was overdrawn.
— A 37-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos man is set to enter a plea May 21 in District Court charged with trafficking methamphetamine.
Samuel Want waived his preliminary hearing Wednesday in East Fork Justice Court.
Justice Jim EnEarl lowered his bail to $5,000 cash.
If he bails out, Want would be on house arrest under Department of Adult Supervision.
Twila Leeling, 44, also charged with trafficking in the same case, asked EnEarl to replace her court-appointed lawyer Jack Sheehan because she said she didn’t believe he was representing her best interests.
EnEarl, who said he received four letters from her, told her she was free to hire her own attorney.
“For you to come in this court and say your attorney doesn’t have your best interests flies in the face of the people of Douglas County who paid for this attorney,” EnEarl said. “You asked for a different attorney before you even met with Mr. Sheehan.”
Leeling said Sheehan represented her nine years ago.
Sheehan offered to withdraw from the case and waive fees of $1,500 to handle the case so far.
“I came to my own conclusion that the attorney-client relationship has deteriorated to the point of being unable to be an effective counsel for her,” Sheehan said.
Leeling said she couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer and EnEarl appointed Alan Erb.
Her next court appearance is May 9.
A third co-defendant, Corey Doan, 34, of the Gardnerville Ranchos, is set for a preliminary hearing June 15 on trafficking charges.
His lawyer, Derrick Lopez, said Wednesday negotiations with the District Attorney’s Office, were unsuccessful.
Doan also is charged with trafficking. The trio, and two others, were arrested in March after undercover sheriff’s officers purchased 83 grams of methamphetamine worth $8,000 in a series of transactions, some of which took place near Lampe Park.
— A 49-year-old Gardnerville woman was sent to jail for three months after she showed up intoxicated at a panel of victims of drunk drivers which she was ordered to attend after she was convicted of driving under the influence.
East Fork Justice Jim EnEarl revoked probation for Janell Kuta and ordered her to serve 90 days.
“I can’t think of anything you might do that is more insulting to people who have lost husbands, wives, sons and daughters to drunk drivers than show up intoxicated,” EnEarl said.
Kuta said she couldn’t explain why she drank before the Victim Impact Panel.
“Nervous, I guess. Like I am now,” she said.
Convicted drunk drivers are ordered to attend the panel as part of their sentence and are warned not to drink alcohol because they will be tested before they are admitted to the session.
Kuta was convicted of DUI after her arrest March 31 with a blood-alcohol content of .312, nearly four times the legal limit of .08 for driving in Nevada. Deputies came upon her in her vehicle which was stuck in the mud on the west shoulder of Bodie Road.