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



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                         Act V, Sc. 1: The Dumping

          Things bad begun make strong themselves by ill.

                                           (Macbeth III,iii,55)



          Carole Dutton told the Rices that Amelia was "unmanageable and suicidal."   They resisted the Rice's repeated requests to fill out medical information on Amelia.  It wasn't until five months later, on February 8, 1988, after persistent urging, that Carole filled out the new-patient information sheet on Amelia.


          On this information sheet Carole gave specific instructions:  No speech or physical therapy to be given to Amelia, and she is not to see a doctor unless it is an emergency and with Carole's permission.  (Being now in a Care Home, Medicare would cover the therapy and medical expenses.)  No information was provided on her prior medical history, prior care home facility, or previous addresses.   With confidence, Carole signed the sheet.


A neighbor to the Rice's Adult Foster Care Home, John Cook, became acquainted with Amelia and knew "something" was not right. He asked Ron Rice, the caretaker, if she shouldn't be having therapy.   Ron responded that there wasn't anything he could do.   Possessing a compassion and humanity that the angels neglected to endow upon all, John Cook took it upon himself to prepare a booklet of flash cards and other aids.  With these homemade tools, he spent several hours a week working with Amelia, attempting to encourage her to regain skills she once had well honed during her acting career.


One day during a rare visit, Carole Dutton chanced to come upon John working with Amelia.    She "blew up," demanding that he stop, adding that "it won't work.   It never has and it never will . . . and we can't afford it."    Carole forbade him from ever again assisting Amelia.   (Surely, Amelia was devastated.)


    (NOTE:  The above incident, related to Quinn by Cook, outside the courtroom              at the Duttons trial, is questioned, in part, by Karren Ruesing, Senior & Disabled              Services Division.    She was familiar with the story.   Cook was due to be called

    as a witness for the prosecution, but was not used.   He has not responded to                       Quinn's requests to put this incident into writing.  It is included herein with                           caution; but the refrain rings true.) 


When the Bend Bulletin asked Ron Rice about Carole's written instructions not for Amelia to receive any therapy or see a medical doctor without authorization, he is quoted as saying, "The Duttons had legal authority to withhold therapy”  [not true: ORS 163.200(1), and ORS 163.205*(1)(a)].  Ron Rice was also quoted as saying he is "always watching for people who are screwing over seniors . . .," that he had "a gut feeling" the Duttons were not doing right, and that he had twice talked with the state Senior & Disabled Services.  (Karren Ruesing says her agency has no record of these contacts.) 


Karren said an employee at Rice's told her she had "weird feelings" about Carole and the situation with Amelia.


    (Ron Rice is no longer in the Adult Foster Care business.  A

    13-point complaint on the Rice's inaction on Amelia's behalf,

    for over four years she was in his care, was filed with

    Meredith Cote, Director, The Office of the Long Term Care

    Ombudsman, Salem, Oregon.)



The Daily Log Book kept by the Rices (albeit, not complete; it does not start until 2-3/4 years after Amelia came there) is revealing: 


              During a year and half period that Carole made 46 different cash withdrawals from Amelia's account, marked as shopping or dinner "with Ami," there are only 13 recorded visits she made to the Rices.  Only 5 visits were within a week of the cash  withdrawals.  Only one was on or within one day of the visit:   "Christmas Shopping with Carole."  Total amount withdrawn:  $455.94.


              Between July 4-Sept. 10, 1990, Carole made no visits to see Amelia.  But during this period, between July 19 and Aug. 28, the Duttons found the time to make $10,808.89 in specific purchases for RV vehicles, furniture, & appliances.


    While Amelia made 9 attempts to call Carole, i.e.:


            July 10:  "Ami cried, threw telephone." 

            There are four "Ami tried to call Carole." 

            July 29:  "Ami calls Carole."  On the 30th, "Ami waited for

            Carole to come over. She didn't."  On the 31st, "Ami

            tried to call Carole."

            Aug. 4: "Ami wanted to call taxi to go to Carole.  Donita

            Rice calls Carole.  Both are sick, but promise to visit

            Ami when feeling better."   (Two months later, on Oct 3,

            Carole visits Ami.)

            Sept. 10:  "Ami calls Carole.  C. Promises to visit on the

            11th or 12th."

            Sept. 11: "Carole no show." (There is no entry for the 12th.)



Again, on Oct. 10: "Carole was supposed to take Ami shopping, but no show."   On the 17th, "Carole came over."


March 21 is Amelia's birthday.  There is no entry of anyone showing up; but ten days later, on March 31, 1991, "Ami went to dinner at Carole's (house)."  (Carole, on her own birthday,   Sept. 21, wrote a check to herself: "Interiors, C. Birthday.   $149.25.")         


The Log Book of record showed there were no visits from Carole between April 3 and Nov. 28, 1991.  Amelia makes or attempts to make 8 calls to Carole:


 July 21:  "Tried to call Carole.  Really upset.  Thinks C. is trying to avoid her."

             July 29:  "Mad about Carole."

             Sept. l:  "Ami called Carole today.  Finally talked to Ami.   She is supposed to bring Ami shampoo & things."


The Log Book records no visits from Charles Dutton or sons Bill and Michael.   Pam made a visit, but only after the state revoked their Power and appointed (Dec. 9, 1991) a conservator:


              Dec. 25:  Pam Dutton came to see Ami today & they argued."

              Jan. 3:   Carole came to see Ami today - not real pleasant."


    (One is tempted to speculate on the purpose of these visits now that the State was involved.)



When Rick & Debbie Brose took over the ownership and management of the Care Home (March, 1992), Rick said the Rices had no records regarding Amelia's prior history or present medical condition.  He said he "had to start from scratch" to accumulate basic, and necessary medical information. 


While in the nursing home in Bend, Amelia was not provided with extra money for personal toiletries, and could not afford "her own tooth paste."   Amelia's rent at Rice's Care Home was, at first, $825.oo per month.   Her fixed income (Social Security and VA Pension) exceeded $1,100.oo per month.   Charles & Carole had been pocketing the difference: they successfully resisted the Rices' initial attempts to raise Amelia's rent $25.oo (with implied threats of removing her).  The Duttons felt no obligation to pay Amelia the market value rent on the use of her house. 


                After Amelia was placed in Rice's Foster Home, The Duttons  (with two exceptions) made the monthly mortgage payments of   $422.oo.  The property taxes were allowed to be annually added to the mortgage loan).


Century 21 related (Feb. 24, 1994) that at that time, equivalent

rental values for this size house (2925 sq. ft. on .52 acre) and furnished,

would exceed  $800.oo per month.    


While Amelia went without basic necessities in the Rice's Home,  Charles & Carole also used $76.79 from her monthly income to make the payments on a $3,500.00 second mortgage.  Six months after Amelia was placed with the Rices, the Duttons took this second mortgage for the purpose of "updating the heating and water system."  Amelia has made all 60 payments on this second mortgage.   This house was new, built only six years before.



Once Amelia was in the Rice's Home and out from under Charles' and Carole's constant surveillance, she repeatedly attempted to communicate her plight, seeking help:


The Daily Log on September 25, 1990, at Rice's Home, noted that Amelia wrote down the telephone numbers of two attorneys from the telephone book.  Amelia called one attorney and attempted, unsuccessfully, to communicate.   She became frustrated and hysterical when she couldn't communicate.  Mona Hoy, the resident manager, later stated that she took the telephone and in response to the attorney's question of what was the problem, Mona Hoy said she didn't want to become involved, and hung up.   Carole Dutton had left no doubt with the Rices as to who was in charge of Amelia. 


For three years in the Rice's Care Home, Amelia's aphasic state repeatedly foiled her persistant attempts.   From memory, she attempted to write her friends in Carson City.   Charles & Carole refused Amelia's repeated pleas for her address book, the address of Dorothy & Fontella, and for "someone" to contact her only living relative, her sister, Betty Barney (Kettering, Ohio). 


Dorothy & Fontella said that it was either Mona Hoy or another employee, who told them that when Carole was asked to give Dorothy's address to Amelia, Carole responded, "No. I won't.  They're nothing but trouble."


Donita Rice told Dorothy, "Ami had been trying to write (you and Fontella) for three years."


            One, painstakingly written letter was returned as undeliverable (addressed only with: "Dorothy Dutton, Ave Aguillise,  Carson City, Nevada 98700," postmarked June 5, 1990.  "Ave  Aguillise” does not exist in Carson City; but it was the last address Quinn lived at in Mexico City, 31 years ago.)  How many other letters ended in the dead-letter box!




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