Before the Stroke


Act I: The Plot


Act II:  

The "X" Secured


Act III:

  The Kidnapping


Act IV, Sc.1:

      The Isolation


Act IV, Sc.2:

   The Plundering


Act V, Sc.1:

      The Dumping


Act V, Sc.2:

          The Rescue



    The Indictments


Appendix I:

  The Perpetrators


Appendix II:

    The Friendship



Printer Friendly

     PDF File




Contact Author






"The Woman Who Put a Face on Elder Abuse (and changed Oregon's laws on financial abuse.):"

"....Seven years later Oregon authorities found her - ill, lonely, unable to walk or speak - in a Bend foster care facility

where she had been secreted by a married couple who had drained her assets." (The Oregonian's editorial of May 13, 2008)

    Amelia Lewis de Gremli was an elderly Shakespearean scholar recently incapacitated by a stroke, speechless, and living in a Carson City, Nevada,  nursing home.   All therapy & medical care is terminated.   With access to her bank accounts, the Duttons purchased a new car, forced her from her home and secretly move her to Bend, Oregon.   

    In Bend, using Amelia's funds, they purchased a 3-bedroom, 3-bath home.   They sell her Nevada home and keep the equity (100%).  Amelia's Will is rewritten by the Duttons, naming themselves as beneficiaries.   She is then abandoned in a Care Home while they wait for the Will to kick in.   At the Care Home, the Duttons leave specific instructions not to provide speech and physical therapy.   Amelia's care is paid for by her own monthly Social Security & VA Pension:  the remaining is pocketed by the Duttons.   She is given no expense money and is allowed to go without such necessities as "toothpaste."   Her remaining assets are liquidated as the Duttons purchased RV vehicles and provided ongoing financial assistance for their three adult children.    

    For six years Amelia is kept a prisoner; physically by the Duttons, mentally by her own aphasic condition.  All attempts to contact Amelia are intercepted by the Duttons:  they block Amelia's repeated attempts to contact her old friends, including her only living relative, a sister.


    In August, 1991, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, she miraculously and secretly managed to have a letter (without a street address!) delivered to her Nevada friends.  In a child-like aphasic sprawl, the letter consisted of the word, "Help."



The Duttons were indicted on six counts.  The trial without jury was heard before Circuit Judge Stephen Titkin, August 10 - 19, 1993, in Bend, OR.  On August 30, a verdict of acquittal on all charges was announced.  

            In announcing his decision, Judge Titkin called the Duttons "freeloaders" who'd taken advantage of Amelia.  He said they used her and then abandoned her.  "I actually think it was shameful of the defendants to take the last large amount of money Mrs. de Gremli would ever have and spend it on themselves," he said.  "They were simply riding Mrs. de Gremli's  gravy train.  They were "very, very good at making what was hers, theirs." 

            The information in the indictment did not cover the year 1991.  Judge Titkin added that he believed the 1991 purchases made by the Duttons “indicated a clear intent to steal.” 

            In late October, a new grand jury issued an indictment of first degree theft, for the year 1991.  On December 13, Judge Michael Sullivan up held the Duttons' defense of Double Jeopardy and dismissed the charges.   The State’s Attorney General's office appealed the decision.  The appeal was dismissed by the Appellate Court on July 13, 1994.

A subsequent civil suit resulted in a $96,644.03 judgment against the Duttons, where Circuit Judge John M. Copenhaver found that:

              “The fraud committed here was aggravated by reason of its duration,
                evil purpose and the extreme vulnerability of the victim.”


    Oregon’s laws on elder abuse were changed because of Amelia’s plight.


The $96,644.03 judgment has never been paid.





                  Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

                                (Romeo & Juliet, III,v,162)