76-year-old gets 7 years probation in forgery, harassment

Last updated: September 09. 2013 11:50PM - 3311 Views
SHEENA DELAZIO sdelazio@timesleader.com

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WILKES-BARRE — Luzerne County Judge Joseph Sklarosky Jr. likened the forgery and harassment case of Theresa Gordon Isabella to the story of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.”

Isabella, 76, had been a nurse for years, raised a son and has been a community advocate, witnesses testified Monday.

She’s also been convicted of 29 charges on allegations she sent unwanted mail to her neighbor and his family.

Sklarosky sentenced Isabella, formerly of Sugarloaf and now living in Florida, to seven years probation on Monday.

Her case, Sklarosky said, included some of the most “nasty, vindictive and despicable conduct” he’s ever seen.

“This is a bizarre case,” the judge said. “It has a Jekyll and Hyde quality.”

In August 2008, Sugarloaf police began receiving complaints from James and Heather Yurick about their neighbor, Isabella, on Prospect Park Road. The complaints spanned a number of years.

The couple told police Isabella would walk her large German Shepherd in front of their son, bend over and slap her buttocks in a “mooning” fashion, place feces on their property, throw walnuts at their home and display her middle finger.

The Yuricks also began receiving anonymous mail in the form of subscriptions, letters and literature.

Police said Heather Yurick’s parents also began receiving unwanted mail, as did another neighbor in the community. Heather Yurick died in October 2011 after a battle with cancer.

Isabella was originally charged in August 2011 and was hit with additional charges in November 2012 after the Yuricks and several others received additional unwanted mail. Handwriting samples pegged Isabella as the sender.

Isabella denies the allegations. “Even though I have been found guilty of these charges, I am innocent,” she said.

James Yurick said Monday that Isabella’s actions caused lost time between his wife and three children — time wasted on Isabella.

Yurick called Isabella’s actions “pure evil” and “heartless,” noting that at one point, after his wife lost her hair during a sickness, Isabella began mailing wig magazines.

Sklarosky said that if Isabella violates her probation even once, he would jail her.

“I have no patience … for violations,” Sklarosky warned.

The judge ordered her to pay several hundred dollars in fines and almost $15,000 in restitution costs.

Isabella must also undergo a mental-health evaluation and follow recommended treatment.

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