Hung Jury in COA Home Care Theft Trial
Middlesex DA will retry Kathryn Christopher for stealing $900,000 from Oliver Rd. resident.
The trial of the former Belmont Council on Aging home-care coordinator who was indicted for allegedly stealing $900,000 from an elderly Oliver Road dementia victim ended in a hung jury Nov. 2 in Middlesex County Superior Court.
A jury could not come to a consensus verdict after a two week trial in Superior Court Judge Merita A. Hopkins' courtroom on the charges of larceny of a person over 60 over $250 and three counts of obtaining a signature by false pretense against Kathryn Christopher, 65, of Everett, according to a spokesperson for Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone.
Despite the setback, Leone's office told the court it will retry Christopher on the charges.
The next court date for Christopher – who is out on – will be Nov. 20 when a date for the next trial will be discussed.
Due to the coming holidays, it is likely the next trial will take place in the new year.
According to court documents, in 2003, while working as home-care coordinator, Christopher met the victim when she was referred to the COA due to her deteriorating medical condition which left her confused and having a difficult time with her memory.
Rather than provide services for the victim’s needs, Christopher assigned herself the role of caregiver, which was a violation of policy.
Over the next four years, Christopher is alleged to have stolen over $450,000 from the victim, according to the DA's office.
In 2004, it is alleged that Christopher took the victim to two separate attorneys in an effort to change her will but they refused.
A third attorney eventually created a new will, listing the defendant as the beneficiary and the power of attorney. During the signing of the new will, it is alleged that the victim appeared confused and signed her name incorrectly several times.
Authorities further allege that on two occasions the defendant assisted the victim in signing a mortgage for her. The total amount of money for both mortgages was $450,000, and was allegedly used to open the joint account with the intention of using the money to pay for home care.
However less than $5,000 was used for that purpose.
During the course of the investigation, a doctor testified the victim did not have the mental capacity to understand what was happening as early as 2004 when she signed a new will.
Christopher was indicted by a Middlesex grand jury on Sept. 15, 2011 and arrainged on Oct. 17, 2012.