Detroit — A caregiver received strong rebuke from a Wayne County judge Wednesday during her sentencing for stealing thousands of dollars from a 93-year-old Grosse Pointe man.
“This is unbelievable,” Wayne County Circuit Judge David Groner said of the crime and original sentence for Dell Kimbrough, a Grosse Pointe Woods resident.
Groner ordered Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Latoya Willis and defense attorney Todd Perkins into immediate negotiations with the defendant and the family to come up with a revised sentencing agreement, saying: “I want justice.”
Initially, Kimbrough was ordered to pay back $12,000 in monthly installments of $250 and placed on 18 months’ probation.
Willis and Perkins agreed to a sentence of five years probation and $15,000 in restitution to be paid to Victor “Bud” Taylor and his wife, Mary. Kimbrough must pay $3,000 within 45 days. Her monthly payments for the balance will be $500, and Kimbrough can no longer be a caregiver for anyone 62 years old and older or disabled.
Groner lashed out at Kimbrough, asking her where the money was that she embezzled from the couple. It’s estimated Kimbrough took more than $12,000 from the couple. Police believe the amount could be as high as $60,000 which includes personal checks Kimbrough allegedly had Victor Taylor make out to her.
“Where’s the $12,000,” an angry Groner asked Kimbrough, who didn’t reply. Groner warned Kimbrough there could be additional charges if he finds out there was more money involved.
Kimbrough, who court records indicate is 30, but police say is 51, used Victor Taylor’s ATM card to withdraw money at a local casino and to visit a hair salon. She also has written checks for herself from Taylor’s account, according to the prosecutor.
“I trusted her,” said Victor Taylor, who uses a walker.
Kimbrough began working for the Taylors more than two years ago through an agency, but the couple hired her permanently for $20 an hour. The couple estimated they paid Kimbrough $96,000 over the past two years. Kimbrough, through her attorney, said she did not get all of the money. She said she hired other people to do work at the Taylor home occasionally.
Victor Taylor, in a letter to the court, said over time, Kimbrough began to show up for work at his home with a “mercurial” disposition and “explosive temper.”
“We were bullied and berated for 22 months in our home,” Victor Taylor said.
Taylor’s wife called Kimbrough “a smooth operator.”
“We hope this kind of thing doesn’t keep happening” to the elderly, said Pamela Taylor, the Taylors’ daughter.
Groner said while “there is nothing to indicate” Kimbrough didn’t do her job, “the problem was she stole from Mr. Taylor,” adding that the elderly commonly are taken advantage of because “they’re easy prey.”
The judge said Kimbrough shouldn’t be able to keep the money she made in salary from the couple, about $4,000 a month, but said he couldn’t legally do anything about it.