Friday, Dec 13, 2013
Ital Set to Go to Trial in January
HARRISBURG -- The Harrisburg woman accused of exploiting a senior citizen will stand trial next year.
Kimberly Ital was in Saline County Court Thursday afternoon. She's charged with assuming a 72-year-old woman's identity and stealing tens of thousands of dollars.
Prosecutors say it happened while Ital was the victim's caretaker. The family of the victim, Karen Phelps, says they feel betrayed in more than one way.
The Phelps family says they trusted Ital for years, and never imagined they'd see her walk into the Saline County Courthouse in a prison jumpsuit.
"I wanted her to feel shame," said Tammy Phelps after Ital's preliminary hearing Thursday. "She doesn't. You can see it on her face. She does not feel bad for what she's done."
Prosecutors say Ital stole the identity of Karen Phelps, who suffers from dementia and requires around the clock care.
Ital was hired last January at the recommendation of Tammy and other family. Tammy is a friend of Ital's and the wife of Karen's nephew, and did not want to go on camera. "We feel foolish... Ignorant," she said.
State's Attorney Mike Henshaw says Ital spent more than $25,000 of Karen's life savings to buy her husband a truck and herself a car.
Investigators say Ital also bailed her son out of jail using Karen's Kroger credit card, payed her daughter's tuition at John A. Logan college, and took her family on a Hawaiian vacation. Plus, made an additional $40-50,000 in other checks and credit card charges.
A certified nurse, Tammy feels Ital stabbed her in the back personally and professionally. Ital is said to have completed a nursing program, but Tammy isn't sure she ever took the boards.
"We put some much of ourselves into other people, and for someone to imitate that is disgusting," she insisted.
Ital is now scheduled to go on trial in January. Tammy says she hopes the jury gives Ital what she deserves.
"I would be more scared of hell than prison," she said. "And I hope that she does pay for what she's done and I hope God has mercy on her soul."
Kimberly Ital remains in the Saline County jail on $150,000 bond.
Wind: 7 MPH
Humidity: 79 %