A “caregiver” who allegedly preyed on an 84-year-old widower in The Villages has proclaimed her innocence in a letter to a judge.
Donna Michele Thomas, 54, has been lodged at the Sumter County Detention Center since her Nov. 30 arrest at the man’s home in the Village of Rio Ponderosa. She is facing a long list of criminal charges in addition to a civil suit from the man’s family.
Thomas was already a convicted felon when she met the Villager who lost his wife in 2013. Thomas systematically wormed her way into his life, his bank accounts and his home.
By the time she was extricated from his home in The Villages this past November, she had written multiple checks to herself, was driving a Cadillac he had purchased for her, had an English Bulldog that required more than $300 a month in care and grooming and she was wearing a $20,000 ring.
Thomas has written to Judge William Hallman III complaining about the services of the public defender’s office. She continues to be held on $34,000 bond and wanted the public defender to go before the judge and seek a reduction in her bond. The public defender told her if they went before a judge her bond would likely be increased, not decreased, according to Thomas’ letter, which is on file with the Sumter County Clerk of the Court’s office.
She writes in the letter that the man she allegedly swindled has been moved to live with family in Alabama. She claims the family made her an offer to come to Alabama to help care for him. She writes in the letter she “declined the offer.”
She also declared, “I was arrested on false charges.”
In another letter to the judge in the man’s family’s civil case against her, Thomas complains, “I have no resources available to me while I am here in the (jail.)”
Thomas had been arrested in 2012 on a charge of attempted felony murder after she stabbed a man in Lady Lake. She was released from prison in 2014.