Two caregivers plead not guilty to manslaughter, theft, in death of Marrowstone Island woman, 77

PORT TOWNSEND — Two Port Townsend residents have pleaded not guilty to manslaughter and theft charges stemming from the death of a 77-year-old Marrowstone Island woman who police said was in their care.

Richard M. Huber, 56, and Betty June Haley, 70, are accused of neglecting Huber’s mother, Kathleen Johnson, and contributing to her April 18 death.

They also are accused of taking some $20,000 from Johnson’s bank accounts.

Trial is set for Nov. 4-5 in Jefferson County Superior Court.

Arrested Aug. 9 in Port Townsend, each has posted the $10,000 set by Superior Court Judge Keith Harper on Aug. 12, when each was charged with first-degree manslaughter and first-degree theft.

Charges of second-degree manslaughter and second-degree criminal mistreatment-domestic violence were added at their Friday arraignment by Jefferson County Deputy Prosecutor Chris Ashcraft.

The defendants can be convicted of either of the manslaughter charges but not both, court documents say.

The two are scheduled for an omnibus hearing Sept. 20, a readiness hearing Oct. 11 and a pretrial hearing Oct. 25.

According to a probable-cause statement filed with the court, Huber and Haley had moved in with Johnson in October 2012 after Johnson’s husband died.

On April 14, Huber brought Johnson into the emergency room at Jefferson Healthcare hospital.

Hospital personnel contacted the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, saying Johnson wore soiled clothing, her hair was matted, and her knees were stained with dried blood.

The next day, the Sheriff’s Office learned that Johnson was severely dehydrated and in renal failure, with a fractured kneecap and multi-organ failure, the report said.

She died April 18.

During a subsequent investigation, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Detective Barb Garrett said she found that Huber had removed $20,000 from Johnson’s bank accounts shortly after Johnson’s huband, Ray, had died.

Garrett said Kathleen Johnson had suffered “a rapid decline into dementia” after her husband died and that Haley, who would “push and yell at” Johnson, was executing control over Huber.

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

More in News

John Brewer.
Former editor and publisher of PDN dies

John Brewer, 76, was instrumental in community

Randy Perry and Judy Reandeau Stipe, volunteer executive director of Sequim Museum & Arts, hold aloft a banner from "The Boys in the Boat" film Perry purchased and is loaning to the museum. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
‘Boys in the Boat’ banner to be loaned to museum

Sequim man purchases item shown in film at auction

Charisse Deschenes, first hired by the city of Sequim in 2014, departed this week after 10 years in various roles, including most recently deputy city manager/community and economic development director. (City of Sequim)
Deputy manager leaves Sequim

Community, economic development position open

Hoko River project seeks salmon recovery and habitat restoration

Salmon coaltion takes lead in collaboration with Makah, Lower Elwha tribes

Clallam Transit’s zero-fare program off to successful start

Ridership is up and problems are down, general manager says

Motor rider airlifted to Seattle hospital after wreck

A Gig Harbor man was airlifted to a Seattle hospital… Continue reading

Traffic light project to begin Monday

Work crews from Titan Earthwork, LLC will begin a… Continue reading

From left to right are Indigo Gould, Hazel Windstorm, Eli Hill, Stuart Dow, Mateu Yearian and Hugh Wentzel.
Port Townsend Knowledge Bowl team wins consecutive state championships

The Knowledge Bowl team from Port Townsend High School has… Continue reading

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls dirt from around the base of an orca sculpture at the Dream Playground at Erickson Playfield on Thursday during site preparation to rebuild the Port Angeles play facility, which was partially destroyed by an arson fire on Dec. 20. A community build for the replacement playground is scheduled for May 15-19 with numerous volunteer slots available. Signups are available at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/904084DA4AC23A5F85-47934048-dream#/. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Site preparation at Dream Playground

Bob Edgington of 2 Grade LLC excavating, which donated its resources, pulls… Continue reading

Rayonier Inc. is selling more than 115,000 acres in four units across the West Olympic Peninsula last week as the company looks to sell $1 billion worth of assets. (Courtesy photo / Rayonier Inc.)
Rayonier to sell West End timberland

Plans call for debt restructuring; bids due in June