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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 24449
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Fran, The government has pursued this person, and refuses

Resolved Question:


The government has pursued this person, and refuses to give up. The doctors, I am told, do not wish to testify, even though he could have sent them a subpoena. The attorney has convinced me that it would be best for the defendant to plea, so he has signed a plea. However, they are asking for 12 months imprisonment and restitution of over 3 million dollars and to redo a tax return from 2002. He can in no way due to his physical and mental condition redo a tax return. He has trouble remembering a movie he saw last night. The thing is that hey are asking for a financial statement from him, which I will have to prepare. He is not capable of doing this. I am his ex wife, and I have been caring for him 24/7 for the last two years, and now in Hospice at home, which entails a great deal of care, changing clothes, cooking, paying bills, shopping, giving medications three times a day, picking up his meds, bathing him when the home health aid cannot be here, changing his depends, and cleaning up after his incontinence, both urinary and bowels. I believe I am due some income for my services. I must provide the financial statement at the plea. His income is strictly from Social Security and VA 100% Disability. The VA disabled him during a cardio procedure in Feb. of 2004. As a result, they determined him to be 100% disabled, and he is even more so now. He was sent to FMC Butner for 4 months last year for "restoration to competency". They let him go and said..."he is now restored and suitable for trial". But, since that time, because of his mistreatment at Butner, he has continually declined, both physically and mentally, so much so that he was admitted to Hospice. The court doesn't care that he is in Hospice. The prosecutor gave him a final demand - sign a plea by Sep. 27th at 5pm or go to trial. He could never withstand a trial and the results could be far more devastating than taking the plea. The plea is asking for 12 months in prison, but the I am told that neither the defense attorney, nor the prosecutor believe the judge will send him to prison because of his health and age (79). If they send him to prison, they will keep his income - Social Security for sure, and probably his VA Disability.

What would be a fair amount for me to charge my ex husband that the court would consider fair? The nurses and social worker from Hospice will write me a letter of recommendation. They say my services are worth my weight in gold - 127 lbs. Anyway, this must be included in the financial statement. I cannot live on my income from social security and my VA pension from my first husband's death in the service, which was reinstated when my second husband and I divorced. I am 71 and stressed to the max, but I will take care of him until he dies. He is not the man I divorced, nor is he the man I married. He doesn't remember marrying me, nor does he remember his childhood, etc.

He has a wonderful work history and was high up in government. Maybe that is why they want him so badly. Shouldn't all of that be considered when he is sentenced? Wouldn't it be his attorney's duty to bring forth all of his work history, service to society in general and service to his country - he was in Special Forces during Korea - a most elite group of the military. Most men didn't pass muster for such an elite group. He was in the pharmaceutical industry for 27 years, a state sentator, a farm bureau vp and president, a US Congressman, etc. They are charging him with filing a false tax return in 2002 and for not disclosing income. Since 2004, nothing has been the same for him. He doesn't remember where he used to work, including Congress, nor anyone he worked with. I am his memory, and I am going to have to coach him in the ways of the plea bargain. The attorney says if he slips up, the judge will sent him straight to trial.

What say you? You impressed me with your responses in the past.

Thank you. There is a lot to respond to here. I have given you a lot of information.

Anonymously and gratefully yours,
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

Yes, this is me. I did not know that you were his ex wife. You'd referred to yourself previously as a caretaker.

What I am not getting in today's scenario is where your ex-husbands's lawyer is at this time. This is a lawyer's problem and not yours and any seasoned lawyer under all of the circumstances that you have given in the background knows exactly how to drag this case out until plea or trial becomes a moot point.

Either your ex-husband is competent or he's not.

If he's not competent, the plea agreement you told him to sign is invalid. He must be capable of understanding what he's doing as a precondition of any plea. He must be capable of allocuting to any plea. If he can't do that and do what's necessary as a precondition of his plea -- not YOU for him but HIM for himself -- he cannot take a plea.

If he's not competent enough to assist in his own defense, there can be no trial either.

Where is his lawyer? If his lawyer is aware of how badly he's deteriorated, he should not -- cannot under a lawyer's ethical and professional code of responsibility -- even allow this plea. To say that this would be malpractice would be understating the situation.

If his lawyer does not know how bad the situation is, why not? The determination of competency is appealable.

There is something missing from this picture, and it's the lawyer, who should be dealing with him, and not with you, and who would know exactly how to proceed if he saw what you were saying here for himself.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

If he's not competent, he said they will send him back to FMC Butner, where he will die unquestionably. They do not intend to give up - they will keep going going going until he is dead.


Also, I was asking my worth as a 24/7 caregiver to put on the financial statement. I would rather have him plea than to send him back to Butner, and that is what they will do, per his attorney. I think he is biased, predjudiced, etc. and the prosecutor just wants to get this off his desk.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.

I don't want to sound insensitive. I do understand how tough this is for you, particularly now that I've been made fully aware of the extent of your previous relationship and your emotional investment. But this whole thing is not what you would rather have him do. You have no say in that part of this. It's what he is either capable of doing for himself or isn't.

If you have his power of attorney you can prepare his financial statement. Your worth as caretaker would be based on what your approximate hourly wage was when you last worked and the industry standard for a caretaker's position such as what you're doing now. The staff at the hospice should know the hourly range for private duty home care attendants in your part of the country.

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