An elderly financial exploitation case has come to a conclusion in Morgan County Court this morning. 64 year old Joyce Gill and her daughter 39 year old Jewell Maul made a plea agreement with the state for theft over $10,000 and not exceeding $100,000 as immediate administrators to the finances of then-88 year old Norma Notson. Notson is the aunt of Gill’s husband Robert Gill, who is currently serving time in prison in the 2015 shooting death of Maul’s ex-husband Andrew Maul. Notson passed away in 2018, and her estate is currently being executed by 4 individuals.
Special Appellate Prosecutor Matthew Goetten had to substitute new counsel for the state because he is away for active military duty. Morgan County Special Prosecutor Brian Towne served in Goetten’s place before Circuit Judge John M. Madonia this morning in Morgan County Court.
Towne says that the executors of Notson’s estate wanted the case to come to an end: “Judge [Madonia] did in fact accept a negotiated plea arrangement with regard to each of the defendants. It’s very important to our office that our victims be made whole and that they are happy with any kind of resolution. In this particular case, the restitution was very sizable. It was approximately $40,000 and in many of our cases, it seems as though we are chasing the money for our victims for years sometimes. There was considerable attention brought to the fact that these defendants did pay the full $40,000 in restitution today, so the victims were very supportive. They wanted to put this behind them. They still mourn the loss of their aunt and their loved one, and they didn’t want to receive a $25 check in the mail every month for the next untold number of years. The victims really do want this to be behind them, and so they were very supportive and actually wanted this negotiation to happen.”
The case had gone through a lengthy cycle of motions based around an oral plea agreement made by Robert Gill during the Andrew Maul murder trial conclusion, which made between Special Prosecutor Ed Parkinson and Robert Gill’s attorney W. Scott Hanken. The motion was that the 2 women could not face prosecution for crimes regarding Notson’s finances. The women are accused of taking over $39,000 from Notson’s personal bank accounts. The motions to dismiss the case were denied back in February and proceedings were allowed to continue with motions to sever Jewell Maul and Joyce Gill’s cases from each other accepted in July. The cases were set for status today.
Towne says the sentence of 2 years second chance probation in the plea agreement for each of the women along with the sizable restitution has several conditions to be met: “It will be a very intensive probation. Probation officers doing their duty will search the house at times. The [defendants] will submit to random drug testing, and they won’t be able to commit any other crimes. Otherwise, we will be revisiting a sentencing in this matter. There lives will become complicated for the next couple of years.”
The two women had faced up to 4-15 years in prison plus restitution, seizure of assets, and up to a $25,000 fine had the cases went to trial and they were found guilty. If either of the women allegedly violate their probation over the next two years, they could possibly face 3 to 7 years in prison, up to a $25,000 fine, plus original fees and court costs if the sentencing is reheard should they violate probation in any way.