Court orders foreign caretaker held in abuse of 104-year-old woman

Allegations involve the elderly woman’s nephew claiming that he caught caregiver in the act of abusing the woman.

Gavel [Illustrative] (photo credit: INIMAGE)
Gavel [Illustrative]
(photo credit: INIMAGE)
The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday ordered a one-day extension of the detention of a foreign caretaker, Tahalma Keller, for continued questioning on allegations she abused a 104-year-old woman.
According to the court transcript, the allegations involve the alleged victim’s nephew claiming that he caught Keller in the act of abusing the elderly woman.
A police representative, under questioning by Keller’s lawyer, Eyal Simhoni, said “there are signs” the women was abused and beaten.
Simhoni indicated that Keller had cared for the elderly for eight years while residing in Israel, including the alleged victim for the last four. He also implied that there could be a financial dispute between the woman’s family and Keller, which is the true root of the complaint.
Aside from the possible financial dispute, Simhoni said the nephew may have made an honest mistake and mistaken Keller’s raised voice for abuse, stating that the woman was half-deaf, which sometimes necessitated Keller raising her voice.
The extension was less than police had requested, but the court also was not prepared to release Keller, determining that there “exists an evidentiary basis on which to support a reasonable suspicion against the suspect for the crimes” under consideration and “a cause of action for continued detention.”
The court indicated that its short pre-indictment extension related to its review of the police’s classified report on their investigation’s status, which indicated that the investigation is nearly concluded, such that the state could file an indictment shortly and request post-indictment detention until the end of the trial.
Separately, on Monday, police arrested an 18-year-old resident of Holon on suspicion of murder, following the mugging of a 67-year-old grandmother in Holon a little more than two weeks ago.
The woman, Bella Meshich, was walking home on February 18 when a man snatched her purse and punched her, causing her to fall to the ground and hit her head.
Meshich did not report the incident at the time, but later went to the hospital complaining of nausea. After she was admitted, she slipped into a coma and died in her hospital bed a little more than a week later.
Ben Hartman contributed to this report.