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Woman Sentenced for Kidnapping, Abandoning Alzheimer-Afflicted Father

April 16, 1993

HILLSBORO, Ore. (AP) _ A woman convicted of abandoning her father at an Idaho dog racing track because he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease was sentenced Friday to five years on probation.

Circuit Judge Alan Bonebrake ordered Sue Gifford to serve 180 days in work release, told her to put in 100 hours of community service and said she would not be allowed to care for any other dependent person.

Gifford, 41, was convicted in a nonjury trial Dec. 3 of 22 counts of kidnapping, theft, perjury and unlawfully seeking public assistance for her 83-year-old father, John Kingery. Gifford left him in a wheelchair with a bag of diapers on March 21, 1992 at a greyhound track in northern Idaho.

During the sentencing hearing, Bonebrake voided all of her convictions except the kidnapping count to comply with an Oregon Appeals Court ruling requiring seven members of a grand jury to be present to hand down indictments.

Many prosecutors around the state had believed the Oregon Constitution required a minimum of five grand jurors, including those handling part of the Gifford case in Washington County. The kidnapping indictment was handed down by a separate grand jury with an adequate number of jurors.

The ruling has been appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court.

Prosecutors said Gifford kidnapped her father from a Portland nursing home when officials there questioned her about his Ford Motor Co. pension, which by law should have gone to help pay nursing home bills otherwise covered by Medicaid.

Kingery died Nov. 2 at a Morgantown, Ky., nursing home, where children from his first marriage had placed him after hearing news accounts of his abandonment.

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