Charges Filed in a Case Involving Murder by a Home Health Care Aide

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A former home health care worker in Texas is facing four charges, including capital murder for remuneration, attempted theft, misapplication by fiduciary and theft. A grand jury handed down the indictment recently and the case will be heard by the 430th State District Court, though no court date had yet been filed.

Monica Melissa Patterson was initially arrested in August and according to the charges filed against her, she was caring for Martin Knell when she placed a plastic bag over his head and suffocated him. The alleged murder took place in January, 2015.

Another individual was also responsible for the crimes and Angel Mario Garza confessed to his part in them. He then implicated Ms. Patterson.

The home care agency that employed Ms. Patterson was Comfort House Services. Between January 2014 and August 2015, Ms. Patterson allegedly stole between $100,000 and $200,000 from Comfort House Services through a series of deceptions. According to court documents, Ms. Patterson created a “false impression of law and fact” that had a direct impact on another person’s judgment during a transaction.

The complicated legal language boils down to claims that Ms. Patterson lied and coerced certain actions that led to her ability to steal money from her employer.

Court documents also state that it is believe Monica Patterson used the money she illegally obtained for personal reasons, including personal expenses, travel, car repairs, home repairs, personal bills, and eating out.

According to the (ABC News 5 in Rio Grande Valley) news article, Indictment Issued in Murder, Home Health Care Theft Case:

“The final charge of attempted theft involves the property of Knell. According to the indictment, Patterson caused Knell to name her as his beneficiary. His will was filed the month prior to his death.”

There was no indication about how long Ms. Patterson had been working with Mr. Knell prior to his murder or any indication whether Ms. Patterson had been stealing or deceiving other clients. It was also not made clear how long she had been employed with Comfort House Services or whether management had conducted a background check on Ms. Patterson upon her hiring.

There was no indication whether the defendant had obtained legal representation or if bail had been set. There was also no direct word on the relationship between Ms. Patterson and Angel Mario Garza nor what direct role he may have played in the murder of Mr. Knell of any of the other crimes Ms. Patterson is now facing.

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