Woman charged in elder abuse
A Carson City woman has been arrested on suspicion of endangering the life of an elderly woman in her care and manipulating the woman into including her in a will.
In a criminal complaint filed by Carson City District Attorney Noel Waters, Sami Marcia Louise Donovan, 47, is accused of depriving Glenell Westphal, 75, of “food or medicines necessary to maintain her physical or mental health” resulting in “physical weakness and debility, impairment of mental functioning and dementia.”
The complaint alleges that through deception, Donovan induced Westphal to “adopt the defendant as her daughter and legal heir in July 1998,” making her the beneficiary to Westphal’s home which she used as collateral for a $65,000 loan and a $94,750 home equity line of credit.
Donovan, who owns a store in Carson City, was booked into Carson City jail Sunday morning on a warrant and posted $50,000 bail that afternoon. She was unavailable for comment Monday evening.
Between March 1997 and November of this year, prosecutors contend that Donovan used her position of trust and confidence with Westphal to illegally obtain “money, assets or property valued at $5,000 or more.”
They also believe that Donovan induced Westphal to raise her salary from $1,000 to $2,500 per week, plus room and board.
In July of 1998, “Westphal was induced to adopt the defendant as her daughter and legal heir,” according to the complaint. In May of this year, prosecutors allege that Donovan secured a last will and testament that made her the beneficiary to the quitclaim deed to Westphal’s home at 1143 Valley View Drive. She reportedly used Westphal’s will to obtain the loans.
Medications prescribed to treat hypertension, heart ailments, high blood pressure and diabetes were not given to Westphal in sufficient quantities between October and November of this year, according to the complaint. At the same time, prosecutors allege that Westphal was over-medicated with psychotropic drugs, resulting in mental and physical harm.
Donovan is charged with two felonies.