Caregiver accused of squatting in home of 91-year old widow gets a plea deal

Widow's daughter: "It's not over"
Posted at 7:18 PM, Feb 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-22 22:18:49-05

SAN DIEGO - The plea deal had been on the table for weeks. On Tuesday, Cheryl Sherrell took it.  She pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal trespassing in exchange for the San Diego City Attorney dropping charges of elder abuse and theft.

The plea deal ended a contentious battle that pitted 70-year old Sherrell against her former employer, 91-year old Fran Breslauer.  Breslauer hired Sherrell to help care for her ailing husband Alan in 2015.  When Alan died, Sherrell refused to leave. 

She was eventually forced out, but returned and took up residence when Breslauer went to Oregon to stay with one of her daughters.

Sherrell left the house for good when she was arrested in October.

"She wanted closure to this stressful ordeal," said Sherrell's attorney Dan Cohen, who previously told Team 10 his client was looking forward to proving her innocence in front of a jury of her peers.

Now Cohen says Sherrell didn't want to risk the stress of a trial.

Related: Accused squatter agrees to stay away from widow's home forever, settles civil case

Breslauer's daughter Jan said her mom was disappointed with the plea because she wanted her day in court. Jan Breslauer said the plea deal was not punishment enough for the "heinous crimes" committed against her mother.

Breslauer said she's worried that since the elder abuse charges were dropped Sherrell might be able to victimize other elderly people.

Sherrell was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to get counseling and to stay away from Breslauer.

"We're not by any means done," said Jan Breslauer, who promised a fight in May when Sherrell returns to court for a restitution hearing.

Related: Accused College Area house squatter barred from home

Related: Widow says caregiver has become a squatter: 'How can you do that to a 90-year old woman?'