VALPARAISO | A bond reduction was denied Wednesday to a Michigan City couple charged with stealing more than $100,000 from an elderly, blind Chesterton woman they had been helping care for the past three years.
Robbin and Bary Bostic, of the 400 block of Walker Street, asked Porter Circuit Court Judge Mary Harper to reduce their cash bonds of $100,000 each.
They said they have a total of $14,400 and Robbin Bostic's mother, Myrtle Henry, testified she would be willing to put up her Michigan City house as collateral.
Harper said the house could not be used toward the bond because it is not in Porter County.
The Bostics testified they have extensive medical problems that require numerous doctor visits, medications and upcoming surgeries.
Porter County Deputy Prosecutor Cheryl Polarek said if medical treatment is a concern at the Porter County Jail, the couple can be transferred to the Indiana Department of Correction.
She further opposed the request for reduced bond by arguing the Bostics are a flight risk and pose a danger to the community. She said they are accused of stealing a minimum of $220,000 in gold, silver and platinum from the elderly woman, in addition to cash, jewelry and other items.
Defense attorney Jennifer Irons said the case began as a dispute among nonfamily member guardians of the victim and should be heard in civil, not criminal court.
Robbin and Bary Bostic are each charged with a Class C felony count of theft, which carries a potential sentence of two to eight years behind bars, according to court records. Pleas of not guilty were entered Wednesday on their behalf and trial was set for March 25, with preliminary hearings Dec. 28 and Feb. 12.
Police said they were alerted to the theft March 16 after responding to a burglary complaint at the woman's downtown-area home. The woman was living in a Michigan City hotel at the time because of a mold problem, which police later discovered to be minimal enough not to have warranted her move.
Robbin Bostic told police she discovered a safe had been opened at the woman's house and estate paperwork and glassware were missing from elsewhere in the home.
A coguardian of the victim said she suspected the woman's savings account was being "drained" and told police Myrtle Henry was the only one with a key to the safe since the Chesterton woman's husband died a few months earlier.