Friday, June 10, 2016

Probation for man involved in elderly exploitation case

PRINCETON — A co-defendant in the case of an elderly Princeton man who lost thousands of dollars while being financially exploited was sentenced Tuesday in Mercer County Circuit Court to five years probation.

Manuel Dominques, 70, of Newport News,Va. appeared before Circuit Court Judge William Sadler. Dominques had previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Kelli Harshbarger.

Dominuques is a co-defendant in a case involving Mary H. Williams, 74, of Lerona. In April, Williams entered a best interest plea before Circuit Court Judge Derek Swope on a charge of financial exploitation of an elderly person. The case involved the late Harold DeWeese of Princeton.

DeWeese died in 2013. Harshbarger said during Williams’ plea hearing that the state’s evidence would show that he died and was buried on Williams’ property without his family’s knowledge, and that he was listed as having no assets. Sgt. Mark Haynes of the West Virginia State Police Princeton detachment started an investigation two years ago, leading to an indictment in October 2015.

A bank account with more than $160,000 was the investigation’s focus, Harshbarger stated. The purchase of a doublewide home placed on Williams’ property was traced to the account.

Williams was hired as a caregiver for DeWeese and his wife in 2009 when he was 88. Deweese’s wife was later placed in an assisted living facility and during that time he divorced his wife and received approximately $400,000 from the division of marital assets. It was also thought that DeWeese may have been suffering from dementia, Harshbarger said. DeWeese had little contact with his children, and moved into Williams’ home.

Williams’ sentencing is set for June 15. At Tuesday’s hearing, Sadler said that he thought Dominques’ involvement in the case was “minimal.”

Sadler had harsher words for Williams, who did not attend her co-defendant’s hearing.

“It just astonishes me, the evil perpetrated on this person,” Sadler said about what happened to DeWeese, adding his family “was not even allowed to see him and say goodbye.”

“She emotionally and financially raped this man,” Sadler said.

Dominques was placed on five-years probation and required to pay restitution. His attorney, David Kelley, later said that Sadler gave his client “deferred adjudication.” Sadler did not enter a guilty finding. If Dominques completes his probation, the court will not enter the guilty plea.

“I thought it was very fair,” Deborah Toler, DeWeese’s daughter, said afterward. “I met (Dominques) one time when they were both indicted, not until Sgt. Haynes did the original investigation.”

Full Article & Source:
Probation for man involved in elderly exploitation case


Clyde said...

Probation? Well that sends a strong signal, doesn't it?

Elle Lang said...

The criminal system protects the criminals.