Woman to be tried in abuse of disabled sister | NevadaAppeal.com

Woman to be tried in abuse of disabled sister

by F.T. Norton
ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com

A Carson City woman will be tried on charges she abused her disabled sister who died from an overdose of medication in May, a judge determined Wednesday.

Patricia Von Dracek, 51, is charged with felony battery with substantial bodily harm and gross misdemeanor abuse of a vulnerable person after a home care nurse reported she witnessed Von Dracek strike her sister Sandra Von Dracek, 56.

Sandra Von Dracek, a Navy veteran left severely disabled in a car accident more than a decade ago, was unable to care for herself, according to testimony from the nurse who called police April 24.

The nurse reported to police that she witnessed Patricia Von Dracek slap and punch her sister.

Patricia Von Dracek denied hitting her sister, but Sandra Von Dracek, though her speech was impaired, said her sister hit her often, Deputy Josh Stagliano wrote in his report.

According to the police report, Stagliano had Sandra Von Dracek taken to Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center. It was his understanding that hospital staff would try to get Sandra Von Dracek into the Veterans Administration Hospital in Reno and not return her to her sister’s care, the report states.

Placement at the VA hospital was denied, and Patricia Von Dracek allegedly picked up her sister from the hospital, said Detective Craig Lowe.

On May 21, Stagliano and another deputy went to Von Dracek’s Hillview Drive home to serve the arrest warrant. While there, Patricia Von Dracek informed them that Sandra Von Dracek had died May 15 while sitting in a recliner in the living room.

An autopsy May 22 revealed Sandra Von Dracek had more than 30 bruises and 13 fractured ribs in different stages of healing, and bruising around her kidney and stomach.

Toxicology determined she died of an overdose of anti-depressants and anti-viral medications, according to the autopsy report.

Assistant District Attorney Gerald Gardner said the death remains under investigation.

Patricia Von Dracek will be arraigned in District Court on March 1.