Man convicted in swindle of elderly wife
A man who married an elderly woman in the front seat of a car was convicted in Montgomery County Monday of swindling more than $100,000 from his wife and neglecting her so badly that she had to be hospitalized.
The jury had been deliberating for more than three hours after a four-day trial filled with wild allegations involving an ex-con, invalid widow, raided bank accounts, and a sham marriage ceremony conducted in the car.
In her closing argument Monday morning, prosecutor Jessica Hall went so far as to imply that after the front-seat wedding, Roger Greenberg took 83-year-old Evelyn Zucker to a hotel, left her there, and hoped she’d eventually die so that he’d get money based on a will that he had altered.
"He stands to inherit the home when she dies,” Hall told jurors. “He stands to inherit her estate when she dies. So what does he do on the morning of December the 9th? He leaves Evelyn, having suffered five hours of chest pains, lying in her feces and urine, in the hotel room at the Sleep Inn. And he leaves. He goes. He’s out of there.”
Greenberg was silent as the jury read the verdict. He took a couple of deep breaths and hard swallows and blinked, but he didn't say anything.
Adam Harris, Greenberg’s attorney, told jurors Greenberg never neglected Zucker, and only wanted the best for her. There was no indication he had caused any medical problems Zucker may have suffered, he added.
“Roger Greenberg and Evelyn Zucker had a relationship where they each gained something,” Harris said. “Roger gave Evelyn care. Care in the form of companionship, of time, and of attention. And Evelyn gave Roger the only thing she that had to give, which was money. Roger Greenberg didn’t commit a crime. He didn’t steal from Evelyn. He didn’t exert undue influence over Evelyn. He didn’t neglect Evelyn.”
Greenberg was convicted on four of five counts. He was acquitted of first-degree neglect, but convicted of second-degree.
Washington Post editors
March 1, 2010; 4:30 PM ET
Categories: Dan Morse , From the Courthouse , Montgomery
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