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Problems mount for nurse charged with manslaughter

STORY BY MEG LAUGHLIN (Week of January 1, 2015)
Photo: Gina Albrecht during her arrest by a police officer

While no trial date has yet been set, problems continue to mount for Gina Albrecht, who has been in jail since May 1, 2013, on charges of elderly neglect and manslaughter in the death of Marbrisa resident George May.

It seems like just about everyone in town is suing her to make sure she doesn’t get a penny out of the home the 81-year-old May signed over to her after he had been diagnosed with dementia.

Her family has fallen apart, too. Gina, 38, had depended on husband Ryan, 36, to take care of their two girls in their Highlands home in southwest Vero.

But with Ryan now in jail himself for perjury and their home lost to foreclosure, responsibility for their young daughters has fallen upon a friend of Gina’s, who lives with her own 12-year-old son, her boyfriend (who also recently got out of jail himself) and the Albrecht girls in a rented home in the Highlands.

George May’s home in Marbrisa on the barrier island, which he signed over to the Albrechts in a new will that has been challenged, is in foreclosure because Ryan, who had been appointed personal representative for the estate by the court, failed to pay the mortgage and taxes on the home for over a year.

Also, prosecutors are taking police depositions to build the criminal case against Gina, who, they say, took over $200,000 of May’s money and then left him to die, disoriented, bed-ridden and starving in late October, 2012.

While her husband was not charged in May’s death – despite receiving money from May, according to records – he has since been convicted of three separate felonies and has been in jail for most of the year.

Further, a number of financial claims have been made against the May estate, which the Albrechts hoped would be theirs. 

After Ryan was arrested this past April, and Gina’s friend Angie took over care of the Albrecht’s daughters, residents of the Highlands tell of “tag sales” in what had been the Albrecht’s yard every weekend from late May through June.

Some of the neighbors suspected the merchandise being sold in the “tag sales” included some of May’s possessions.

“Since so much was missing from my uncle George’s home, you do have to wonder if any of it ended up in the tag sales,” said Mary Olsen, May’s niece and heir until he changed his will and signed over his money and possessions to the Albrechts.

In a suit filed against the Albrechts, Olsen included on a list of things that disappeared from the Marbrisa home such items as “sterling silver tea service and serving pieces, Wedgewood porcelain dishes and Waterford crystal glasses, a secretary desk, a dining room table and chairs, a three-stone diamond ring, pearl earrings ...”

Neighbors recall being told by the sellers that the money from the tag sales went to Gina’s and Ryan’s jail accounts so they could buy supplies and food from the canteen.

In January of this year, foreclosure proceedings against May’s Marbrisa home began because Ryan had not paid the second mortgage, or interest and taxes since his wife went to jail in May of 2013. The amount due with penalties and other charges had grown to over $45,000.

In early July, Ryan, out of jail, was arrested again for lying in court to get a free public defender to fight the criminal charges against him for lying to get government money. By September, claims on the May estate included new ones from the Albrechts‘ two lawyers, niece Olsen, and Florida Power & Light for unpaid utility bills.

The Mays’ daughter, Patricia Corapi, and a supervisor at Consulate Health Care, which cared for May in 2012, were also listed as “interested parties.”

Meanwhile, the Albrechts both remain in jail, their children living with friends, their golden retriever in a shelter and their possessions sold.

“This whole mess gives me ulcers,” said May’s niece Olsen. “While I’d like to see a fair outcome in all of these cases with the Albrechts getting nothing, what I care most about is that Gina Albrecht be punished for what she did to my uncle.”