Caregiver to be retried as jury deadlocks on theft
A caregiver accused of stealing more than $200,000 from her elderly client will be retried on the charges.
Circuit Judge Michael Wilson declared a mistrial in the case on Tuesday after jurors indicated they were deadlocked and unable to reach a unanimous decision on the first-degree theft charge against Cora Dela Rosa.
Defense attorney Scot Brower said the evidence against his client was insufficient for the jury to reach a unanimous decision. The retrial is set for May.
Dela Rosa, 43, cared for 82-year-old Marjorie Carr at the Hawaii Kai Retirement Home for seven months beginning in October 2003 until Carr moved to Mexico in May 2004. Checks Carr wrote to her caregivers in Mexico started bouncing. Carr died about a month after she arrived in Mexico.
Before she left Hawaii, Carr went to her bank and requested that her account be closed and converted into a cashier's check in her name.
Dela Rosa maintained at trial that Carr had endorsed and given her the check later that day while both were in Carr's room back at the retirement home.
When Dela Rosa asked her employer, "Are you sure?" she said Carr told her to "just keep it, don't have to worry, just put it in your bank and don't tell anybody."
Dela Rosa said she asked Carr again a few days later if she was sure, and was again told to keep it.
When asked during trial why Carr gave her the money, Dela Rosa testified that she did not know.
Prosecutors contend Dela Rosa defrauded Carr of her life savings and that there was no reason for her to give her money away when she was asking others for money and selling her furniture to raise money.
Theirs was a working relationship, not a personal relationship, and Dela Rosa had done nothing extraordinary to deserve the large check, said Deputy Prosecutor Paul Mow. Carr had already paid Dela Rosa for her services up until she left for Mexico.
The defense maintained that Carr had given Dela Rosa the check because the caregiver had provided the care that Carr's daughters were not willing to provide.