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San Diego caregiver sentenced for clients’captivity, death

March 7, 2020 GMT

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A San Diego caregiver who was charged with keeping a woman a virtual prisoner for more than a decade and starving an elderly man who later died was sentenced Friday to 13 years in state prison.

Fifty-three-year-old Shirley Montano pleaded guilty in January to voluntary manslaughter after 74-year-old robert Chagas died of pneumonia in 2016. An autopsy found that severe malnutrition contributed to his fatal illness, although the medical examiner couldn’t determine whether he had been deliberately starved.

Montano also pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment of 60-year-old Josefina Kellogg, who lived in a bedroom of Montano’s home in the City Heights neighborhood. Prosecutors alleged she was kept a near-prisoner for at least 11 years but perhaps for as long as 23 years.

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Montano had been hired to provide the woman with in-home care but eventually cut her off from others by taking her phone and walker and canceling her doctor’s appointments, prosecutors contended.

Prosecutors say Montano once had visitors stay with her for several weeks and they didn’t even know Kellogg was there.

Prosecutors say Montano stole her clients’ disability and retirement benefits to buy personal items, including a car, and to gamble large amounts. She pleaded guilty to perjury for signing documents for the benefits.