OGDEN — A Harrisville woman’s attorney is seeking more information from Weber County prosecutors for use in countering felony accusations that say she illegally tapped her parents’ assets.
Holly Massey Frye, 49, was charged in April with seven felony counts related to the alleged draining of her dementia-stricken father’s assets and her mother’s Social Security funds to buy a house, car and other items.
Both parents died earlier this year.
Thomas Weber, Frye’s defense attorney, has filed documents in 2nd District Court in Ogden challenging the charges and asking for a bill of particulars from the prosecution on the substance of the charges.
“The state has not alleged that the defendant exceeded the scope of her authority acting with the victim’s durable power of attorney,” Weber wrote. “Nor has the state cited facts to support the allegation that the actions the defendant took were an unjust or improper use or management of the assets of the victim.”
He argued the facts alleged in the indictment are insufficient to meet the probable cause standard for the case to move forward.
“As a result, additional facts are needed so that the defendant can prepare an adequate defense,” he said, asserting the onus is on the prosecution to allege facts that meet essential elements of the charges filed.
Further, Weber argued, “the amount that the defendant is alleged to have taken is a lesser amount than the inheritance to which she is lawfully entitled” and her “actions were lawful and were within the scope of her authority as the agent with a durable power of attorney.”
Frye had two power of attorney documents executed in early 2019 giving her control over properties and business affairs of her father, H.C. Massey, the indictment said.
As of September 2018, Massey and his wife, Betty, owned $2 million in rental properties and had $1.2 million in cash, according to the indictment by the Weber County Attorney’s Office.
One year later, $1 million in property was gone and only $110,000 in cash remained, the indictment alleged.
Frye is accused of four counts of communications fraud and single counts of theft, unlawful dealing of property by a fiduciary and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
All charges are second-degree felonies.
In its response to Weber’s request for a bill of particulars, the county asked 2nd District Judge Joseph Bean to deny the motion.
The law does not allow a defendant “to demand that the state put on its evidence before preliminary hearing,” the county said. “It is clear that the defendant is sufficiently on notice as to the nature and cause of the charges.”
Presumably as well, the county said, its case “will only get stronger as the investigation continues even after preliminary hearing.”
The county said its indictment has sufficiently outlined “the abusive manner in which the defendant used the victims’ property for her own benefit.”
“The defense will be able to learn the evidence supporting the charges during the court’s regular discovery process,” the county said.
Frye has not been booked into jail. She received a summons to appear in court July 23.