Colorado housekeeper gets 208 years in prison for beating 88-year-old client
A Colorado woman who shoved an 88-year-old man she worked for as a housekeeper down a flight of stairs, tore skin off his arms and stole his car has been sentenced to 208 years in prison, prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Jana Janette Bergman was found guilty last month of attempted manslaughter, assault, robbery, theft and other charges in the attack on Jack Woods, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Bergman, 33, received the lengthy prison term because she is classed as an habitual offender with four prior felony convictions who committed heinous crimes against an at-risk individual, District Attorney Pete Weir said.
“This is an extraordinary sentence, but the brutal assault on Mr. Woods is almost beyond belief,” Weir said.
Prosecutors said Bergman was in the Denver County jail in January 2014 when she answered a newspaper ad posted by Woods, who was seeking a housekeeper.
They began corresponding by telephone and mail, and after Bergman told Woods she loved him, the octogenarian bailed her out and she moved into his home in the city of Arvada.
Over the next 10 months, prosecutors said, Bergman would get angry, take Woods’ car and disappear for days at a time.
She was also arrested on several occasions, and Woods would bail her out of jail, forfeiting some $12,000 in bond fees and once even putting up his house as collateral, prosecutors said.
The abuse escalated in November 2014 when Bergman shoved Woods down a stairway during an argument, “viciously” tearing the fragile skin off the man’s forearms as he tried to hold on to a railing, prosecutors said.
“Once he was on the floor, at the bottom of the stairs, she continued her assault. She then held him down with her knee and took his wallet and keys … stole his car and fled,” the district attorney’s office said in its statement.
When police arrived, they found Woods bruised and bloodied, and discovered that before fleeing the home, Bergman had cut off the ankle monitor she was required to wear.
“Bergman preyed on this fragile, vulnerable man to get what she wanted, and when she was finished with him, she threw him down the stairs to get rid of him,” Weir said.
Woods has recovered from his injuries.
(Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Peter Cooney)
Watch a report on Bergman’s sentencing, as aired by The Denver Post, below.