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NEWS IN BRIEF: A summary of developments across Los
Angeles County | Community News File / Altadena

Mother of Gunman Jailed Pending Trial in Abuse Case

March 04, 1998

The mother of one of the gunmen killed in the North Hollywood bank robbery has been jailed pending her trial on dependent abuse and false imprisonment charges after she repeatedly failed to appear in court, a prosecutor said.

Valerie Nicolescu-Matasareanu, of Altadena, is accused of locking a mentally disabled woman in a darkened room under unsanitary conditions. The woman was discovered a year ago in a Pasadena building owned by Nicolescu-Matasareanu during a police search for clues about her son, Emil Matasareanu.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Hilda Weintraub said that Nicolescu-Matasareanu was admitted to a hospital complaining of a new ailment each time she was scheduled to appear in court. "One time, she called the paramedics from outside the courtroom," Weintraub said.

A judge decided Jan. 8 to jail the defendant after her arraignment had been delayed several times, Weintraub said. The 54-year-old woman is being held in Twin Towers after pleading not guilty. Her trial is slated to begin April 10.

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