Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sister Charged With Kidnapping

"If the woman was competent, she has the right to live however she wants to. This is sometimes difficult for families to accept."

Laura Stewart and Earl Cross were charged with kidnapping, conspiracy, assault, false imprisonment and unlawful restraint. Darnell Randall was arrested in Pittsburgh on charges of helping Stewart and Cross bind Evelyn Poynter and force her into a Cadillac Escalade.

Stewart's heart was in the right place when she and her boyfriend attempted to move her 86-year-old sister from a trash-filled apartment in the Hill District to Stewart's duplex in a Cleveland suburb, her family said.

A police affidavit filed to support the charges against Randall notes the "deplorable" condition of Poynter's apartment and says there were "extreme amounts of garbage and clutter throughout."

But police and legal experts said Stewart had plenty of law-abiding alternatives to binding Evelyn Poynter's wrists in duct tape, forcing her into a car wearing only her nightgown and a blanket, and driving her around for eight hours.

The alternatives:

* contact the Area Agency on Aging's protective services division, which deals with elderly victims of abuse, neglect and self-neglect

* a doctor's evaluation to determine if someone is physically and mentally capable of taking care of him or herself

* an Orphan's Court judge can appoint a guardian to make important decisions for the person

* get the person to sign over either full or partial power of attorney

Full Article and Source:
Elders' self-care puts family in tricky spot, experts say

See also:
State law protects elderly from being taken from home

Police: Ohio Woman Kidnaps Sister

Shaker couple accused of kidnapping relative from Pittsburgh

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