Thursday, July 9, 2009
© Copyright 2014
Gwinnett Daily Post
LAWRENCEVILLE - A Lawrenceville woman is charged with stealing money reserved for her hospitalized mother's household utilities to fuel a drug habit.
Michelle Barry's alleged misdeeds were enough to boot her 68-year-old mother from her Buford Drive home.
A family member told police Barry, 41, pocketed about $10,000 over a six-month period last year - money that included social security, disability and alimony checks belonging to her mother, Audrey West.
Lawrenceville police on Tuesday arrested Barry on felony charges of exploitation of a disabled adult.
West reportedly left a debit card - and the responsibility for footing monthly bills - with Barry during an extended hospital stay ending last December. West came home to a rude awakening, according to a police report.
"When she returned from the hospital ... all of her utilities were disconnected and she was evicted from her residence," an officer wrote.
West told police her daughter likely squandered the money on illegal drugs. Barry has a history of abusing crack cocaine and methamphetamine, the report says.
The suspect's brother, Brian Oltarzewski, lives with his mother. He told police he couldn't stop Barry's wrongdoing because he was incarcerated at the time.
Jail records show Oltarzewski was twice arrested during his mother's hospital stay - first for simple assault and then public drunkenness.
No one answered phone calls to West's listed address Wednesday.
Barry remains at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.