JACKSON (WWJ/AP) – A Jackson, Michigan woman who lived for months with her friend’s corpse has pleaded guilty in a deal with prosecutors that is expected to keep her out of prison.
Linda Chase, 72, pleaded guilty Wednesday to two counts of fraud, in exchange for dismissal of a forgery charge for cashing $28,000 in benefit checks belonging to 67-year-old Charles Zigler.
Zigler’s remains were found July 6 in a chair in the living room of their house.
Chase said she and Zigler were close, but not romantically involved, and had lived together for 10 years. She kept the body clean and dressed and talked to it while watching NASCAR on television. Back in July, she told the Jackson Citizen Patriot she regrets her actions and feels horrible about it, but she just didn’t want to be alone. ”He was the only guy who was ever nice to me,” she added.
Police say he died of natural causes in December 2010. Mlive.com reports that District Judge Michael Klaeren says the plea means Chase will probably get probation.
Defense lawyer Jerry Engle said the plea deal gets Chase into mental health court and in line for treatment that his client likely needs.
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