Caregiver accused of murdering man for his money - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Caregiver accused of murdering man for his money

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SAN DIEGO (CNS/CBS 8) - Trial began Tuesday for a caretaker accused of killing an elderly Rancho Bernardo man and draining his bank accounts of more than $500,000.

Denise Goodwin, 47, is charged with murder and a special circumstance allegation of murder for financial gain in the death of Gerald Eugene Rabourn, who disappeared in October 2010. His body has not been found.

According to prior court testimony, Goodwin was hired through a senior service agency to care for Rabourn's 91-year-old wife, Carolyn, who died of cancer on Sept. 29, 2010. At Goodwin's arraignment in August 2011, the prosecution alleged that Rabourn trusted Goodwin with all his assets, and within days of his wife's death, the defendant began converting those assets for her own personal use. 

"She had found her golden goose. She no longer needed to be a caregiver. She had convinced Gerald Rabourn that she could help him with his finances," Deputy District Attorney Bill Mitchell said.

Police said there was an abrupt end to Rabourn's family contacts, cell phone use and financial activity after Oct. 21, 2010.

Mary Weaver, Rabourn's daughter from his first marriage, testified during the defendant's preliminary hearing that she tried in October 2010 to persuade her father to move to the Midwest, but he said "he was planning to live with Denise."

She said she last spoke to her father on Oct. 19, 2010, but didn't report him missing until the following February, when she didn't get a birthday card from him.

Goodwin was arrested in July 2011 as she boarded a plane for a European vacation.

If convicted, Goodwin faces life in prison without parole.

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