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Woman held in embezzlement

Staff Reports

A 44-year-old Dayton woman was jailed Dec. 20 on $25,000 bail accused of embezzling $168,000 from a mentally disabled man who eventually died of a brain tumor.

Sandra Vasquez was accused by the siblings of the victim of taking $167,912.61 from June 2004 through February 2005.

The 63-year-old man, diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic at age 12, died of a brain tumor Aug. 12, 2004.

According to court documents, the man’s father set up a $2 million trust in 1993 to provide financial security for his son.

In April 2004, the man had surgery for the tumor which left him semi-paralyzed and unable to speak intelligibly.

He was moved to Evergreen Healthcare in Gardnerville and Vasquez was appointed trustee with authority to make gifts from the trust that he desired.

His siblings went to court to try to get Vasquez removed as trustee, saying their brother did not have the mental capacity to make legitimate financial decisions on his own.

They claim she used her position to pay herself a $50,000 salary for unknown services, pay personal expenses not associated with her position and make financial gifts to individuals and siphon off funds for personal use.

The man died from the tumor Aug. 12, 2004, but the family alleged Vasquez continued to spend his money.

She was accused of making ATM withdrawals, bank check purchases, cash withdrawals, computerized fund transfers, and paying personal bills and expenses.

The relatives were unable to find proof that Vasquez was appointed the man’s legal guardian or had power of attorney.

She is to appear in East Fork Justice Court on Dec. 28.

n A Gardnerville Ranchos man with a history of domestic battery arrests was charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon accused of threatening the victim with a chain saw and closing a van door on her legs.

Frank Hetzel, 46, was also charged with battery that constitutes domestic violence.

Deputies were called to the victim’s residence Dec. 16.

The 44-year-old woman, who has had a long-term relationship with the suspect, said the trouble began when she told Hetzel he couldn’t live with her anymore.

She said he took her purse and she agreed to drive to a storage shed with him to look for it.

She said Hetzel had been drinking tequila and head-butted her twice at the storage shed.

The victim claimed he shut the van door twice on her ankles, then picked up a chain saw and started it.

She told deputies Hetzel allegedly said, “Would you like me to do it in the van or out of the van?”

The woman said he threatened to “cut her up in little pieces, cut her head off and leave it on the porch for her kids to find it if she called the cops,” according to a statement she gave deputies.

The woman said she ran away, but Hetzel caught her and tackled her.

Finally, the victim said, she got back in the van and demanded to be taken home.

But first, she said, they stopped at a Gardnerville grocery store so Hetzel could buy alcohol.

She said she jumped out of the van and yelled for someone to call 911, but no one did.

When they got back to the victim’s house, her son called deputies.

She gave them a written statement about the events ending with, “He’s crazy.”

Hetzel is to appear Jan. 14 and Jan. 16 on the charges.

He is in Douglas County Jail on $33,000 bail.

In August, the woman accused Hetzel of attempting to run her over with his car.

n A Gardnerville man whose blood-alcohol content tested at nearly four times the legal limit was jailed on $1,500 bail after Carson Valley Inn employees called deputies to stop the suspect from driving.

Robert Donald Marquez, 46, was charged with a first offense of driving under the influence.

Carson Valley Inn employees contacted the sheriff’s office after Marquez refused to take a cab and tried to drive out of the parking lot.

His preliminary breath test registered an alcohol content of .318. The legal limit for driving in Nevada is .08.

n A residential burglary was reported Dec. 18 in Ruhenstroth.

The victim reported jewelry and a silver dollar collection were missing, taken between Dec. 13-18.

n A 44-year-old Gardnerville man was jailed Dec. 17 on $10,000 bail charged with a third offense of driving under the influence within seven years.

Ian Orr was arrested in the parking lot at the Faye-Luther Canyon trailhead at 3:15 a.m.

A witness had called deputies to report that Orr’s vehicle was speeding on Foothill Road. Deputies followed the vehicle into the parking lot. They reported that Orr had watery eyes and smelled of alcohol.

He denied that he had been driving.

Orr was taken to jail and his passenger took the vehicle.

n A 24-year-old Gardnerville Ranchos resident was cited Dec. 17 for possession of fireworks.

Deputies responding to a reports of shots fired at 1:45 a.m. found the suspect shooting off fireworks and firecrackers.

He said he was trying to get rid of them.

n A dog that escaped into the neighbor’s yard with a chain around its neck was blamed by a homeowner for more than $100 damage to Christmas decorations.

The aggrieved homeowner called the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to report the dog had become entangled in the decorations, damaging a $20 tree and $90 reindeer.

According to the report, the neighbors in the 1300 block of Saratoga in the Johnson Lane area have had past confrontations regarding each other’s animals at-large.

The dog’s owner said she was gone for an hour and her pet must have got loose and run into the neighbor’s yard.

“Since the dog did not willfully destroy the Christmas decorations, I find destruction of property unfounded,” the deputy wrote.

The homeowner was advised to contact Animal Control with pet complaints.

n The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office reported 14 contacts for domestic violence Dec. 14-20.

There were eight calls for verbal domestics and four arrests for domestic battery. One contact was referred to the district attorney for review or prosecution and one referral was for an arrest warrant.

Six juveniles witnessed domestic violence and one juvenile was suspected of a verbal domestic offense.

The Family Support Council submitted one request to East Fork Justice Court for a temporary restraining order which was approved. Two requests were denied for anti-stalking and harassment orders.

Connie Richardson, domestic violence prevention coordinator for the sheriff’s office, said the average range for contacts is 10-12 per week for this time period.

The average range for juveniles witnessing domestic violence is 7-9 per week with juvenile suspects at up to two per week.