Friday night 47-year old Sandra Roskilly was killed by her neighbor, Daniel Abeyta while she was standing on the front porch of her home on Irving Street in Denver.
Three days later, August 19th, Sandra’s body was identified by the coroner – which just happened to be the same day Denver Housing Authority had the locks on the doors changed where Sandra was living with her 18-year old autistic son and her 70-year old mother, Doris Kessler. Sandra’s family hasn’t even had time to make funeral arrangements when her grieving mother and son were locked out of their home. Evicted – thrown out of their home by Denver Housing Authority. They had no time to collect belongings – or their medications.
Denver Housing Authority, Stella Madrid said Sandra was the head of household in this low-income housing and neither Sandra’s mother or son was on the lease.
“We understand the family’s under duress, but we will be locking the unit because they [Sandra’s mother and autistic son] have no legal rights.”
Today, the Housing Authority “graciously” allowed Doris in the house for a short time to collect personal items including her and her grandson’s medications.
Friday night, August 16th, Daniel Abeyta came out of his home with a rifle, shot and killed Sandra as she stood on her front porch. Abeyta also shot and wounded his wife in the leg.
Abeyta had been upset Sandra’s rose bushes were growing onto his property. Other neighbors said Abeyta wanted Sandra to move from the house she had lived in for ten years and was unhappy Sandra had tried to comfort Abeyta’s wife who had allegedly been abused by her husband. (Abeyta’s record shows a 2003 matter in which he threatened his wife with a knife.)
When police arrived, Abeyta tried to set off a fireball with a homemade explosive device. Police shot him. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.
To make matters worse, Sandra didn’t have a will. Stella Madrid (Denver Housing Authority) had Sandra’s personal belongings seized and will be held by the Public Administrator. Madrid stated today, “We secured all property in the unit and we secured the unit.”
Housing and Urban Development spokesman Jerry Brown said earlier today his agency hopes Denver will reconsider. Brown said federal lease agreements for subsidized housing limit the ability to turn over property to other people [Sandra’s mother and son] but the rules aren’t carved in stone.
Brown stated “Our rules and guidelines are just that, and we would hope people would use compassion. They have discretion, which is why the city has a board to administer it. There was no notification on our end of an eviction, and we didn’t have a say in it.”
Sandra’s mother is sleeping on a couch at a relative’s place and Sandra’s autistic son was taken to a facility in Pueblo. We can only imagine his state of mind being abruptly uprooted, taken away somewhere foreign and losing his mother.
We’re also asking where is the compassion? Where is the common sense and decency?
Sandra isn’t even buried yet.
Keith A. Gantenbein, Jr. is a Colorado consumer advocate attorney, foreclosure defense and real estate attorney located in Denver and servicing all of Colorado. His foreclosure defense practice includes: foreclosure prevention, foreclosure assistance, loan modifications, short sales, and all other foreclosure defense legal assistance. He also handles bankruptcies, wrongful credit reporting, mortgage negotiations, lender liability, real estate, civil litigation, debt defense, debt harassment, contracts and landlord/tenant. If you think you will be facing debt collection, foreclosure, or are in the foreclosure process, or have had a wrongful foreclosure, contact Keith Gantenbein at (303) 618-2122 for a one-hour consultation where he will discuss your situation and go over all your options with you.