Tag: elder abuse

Harvey man convicted of exploiting elderly woman, taking $800,000

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday evening (May 1) convicted Paul Juarez of exploiting an elderly Terrytown woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, assuming legal control of her finances and spending hundreds of thousands of dollars of her money on many unexplained expenses.

Juarez, 72, of Harvey, is guilty as charged of exploitation of persons with infirmities in connection with his spending more than $800,000 of Marjorie Blake’s money during a six-year period, the jury found. Ms. Blake, a retired nurse and divorcée from North Carolina who had no children, died in March 2014 at age 85.

“She died penniless and alone,” Assistant District Attorney Lynn Schiffman, who prosecuted Juarez with Assistant District Attorney Johnny Carr, told jurors.

According to evidence presented at trial, Juarez knew Blake through their West Bank church and, after she was medically deemed unable to make decisions for herself due to Alzheimer’s in 2008, he assumed power of attorney for the ailing woman. Juarez refused to allow Ms. Blake’s closest relative, a niece who lives in North Carolina, to even visit her aunt.

Testimony showed that in 2010 Juarez transferred more than $300,000 from Ms. Blake’s bank to his own without explanation. He also made himself and his wife the exclusive beneficiaries to Ms. Blake’s life insurance policy. He used her money to pay a tax bill in Florida, in a county where his wife owned a business.

Ms. Blake’s niece, who was named in the will, contacted her attorney, who in turn contacted the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, leading to Juarez’s arrest.

Juarez denied exploiting Ms. Blake. His attorney argued that Ms. Blake made arrangement with Juarez to tend to her own care, and that he was carrying out her wishes. She wasn’t close to her niece, and she didn’t want to return to North Carolina, his attorney argued.

The six-member jury deliberated less than an hour before returning with its verdict. Judge Conn Regan of the 24th Judicial District Court is presiding over the case.

(UPDATE: Judge Regan on May 6 set Juarez’s sentencing hearing for July 11.)

Assistant District Attorneys Lynn Schiffman and Johnny Carr prosecuted the case.

Marrero home invader sentenced to 68 years in prison as habitual offender

A Jefferson Parish judge on Wednesday (Oct. 10) resentenced Brandon Pike to 68 years in prison, finding that the man who was convicted earlier this year of brutally beating an 84-year-old woman in her home is a second-felony offender.

Pike, 39, Marrero, was convicted as charged in February of aggravated burglary and second-degree battery. The convictions stem from New Year’s Eve 2016, when Pike kicked in the front door of the woman’s 16th Street home in Marrero, ordered her to give him money, and when she said she had none, he proceeded to punch her in the head until she lost consciousness. He left with her television, according to trial evidence.

The woman regained consciousness and called a family member, who in turn notified a neighbor who found the victim on the living floor next to her Christmas tree with gifts still under it, according to trial evidence. She later was able to identify Pike as her attacker.

A Jefferson Parish jury convicted Pike on Feb. 28. In March, Judge Donnie Rowan of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Pike to 30 years in prison for the aggravated burglary and eight years for the second-degree battery, run consecutively for a total of 38 years.

On Wednesday, Pike was returned to Judge Rowan’s court for his multiple bill hearing. According to court records, in 2011, Pike pleaded guilty as charged to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, after he was caught in Marrero driving a 1997 Mercury Grand Marquis that had been stolen in Terrebonne Parish. That conviction was used in the multiple bill to enhance the sentence.

After ruling that Pike is a double offender, Judge Rowan vacated the 30-year sentence for the aggravated burglary and resentenced him to 60 years. He ran the eight years for the second-degree battery consecutive to the 60 years, for a total of 68 years.

In explaining his decision, Judge Rowan recalled trial evidence showing the victim’s injuries. “Her eye was swollen shut. She was left to lay on that floor all night, which I believe was New Year’s Eve.”

Assistant District Attorneys Andrew DeCoste and Lynn Schiffman prosecuted the case.