Elder abuse case update: Restraining order filed against alleged perpetrator, hoarded trash hauled from home

By Pat Sherman

A civil court judge has granted a five-year restraining order against Victoria Turner, the woman accused of abusing 91-year-old La Jolla resident Robert Stella.

As reported in

La Jolla Light

in March, Stella was removed from his home on Avenida de las Pescas, which the family alleges estranged wife Turner filled with trash, clutter and stray animals — including a dead cat animal control found in the bathroom and a Chihuahua found in the freezer.

The family claims Turner denied Stella food and water, and at times tied him to the bed. Turner later donned a disguise to sneak into the residential care facility where Stella was on the mend. Surveillance cameras captured her attempting to have Stella sign what appeared to be legal documents.

“My dad’s protected now; we just hope that other older people can be protected from her as well,” said Stella’s daughter, Michelle Redfield.

Redfield said it was traumatic for her father to face his alleged abuser in court, though the experience “did a lot for him emotionally, in a good way.”

“It was really horrible to watch her try to manipulate him, even on the stand,” she said.

Earlier this month, the family cleared away mountains of trash from the yard of their father’s home, which Redfield said the court had for months prevented them from removing, to give Turner and a drifter once staying there time to remove their belongings.

“We were eager to do it, but it was a slow process,” Redfield said of the cleanup, which took about three weeks. The family hired workers to help them remove 19 dumpsters of refuse — including much of her father’s furniture, clothes and belongings that had been tainted by garbage and animal feces.

“It’s very sad; we’ve had to get rid of so many things,” she said.

Redfield said she’s not certain whether she and her three siblings will sell their father’s house or keep it in the family. “We’re all deciding,” she said. “We feel like we have to, so my father has more money available to him, but we’ll see.”

Redfield said Turner will be back in court in August seeking spousal support.