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Harboring a Fugitive or Protecting an Adult jFamily Member in Washington?

Seattle, WA |

Just discovered sister committed embezzlement of over $50k about 12 yrs ago from prior employer. She went to original hearing, pled NG, but failed to appear for subsequent hearing. She then moved in with our elderly parents with two minor children from a prior marriage and has been there ever since. She has managed to fly beneath the radar by not having own car, no outside employment, being our parent's caretaker. We finally uncovered that our mother was aware of this warrant for her failure to appear & aided her to keep minor children in custody. In 2011 sister was picked up on bench warrant. It went to trial and she was sentenced Felony B, Theft 1. She has fleeced parents of retirement. Mom still shelters while elderly Dad is unaware. We need to remove sister.

Our concern is that our mother knew of this warrant and sheltered this person. It contributed to the inability of sisters prior employer to obtain appropriate justice.

Attorney Answers 2


Now that you know - you can contact authorities.

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I believe you have posted here before with a very similar fact pattern. This is a complicated and difficult situation and you simply cannot get the advice you need through a free online forum. You need to consult with an attorney in your area, and probably other mental health professionals as well. From your latest description, it sounds as if your mother at least may be completely aware of what is going on and is actively choosing to support your sister and her grandchildren. A professional can help you determine if this is a rational choice your mother is making, albeit one you don't agree with, or whether your mother has been unduly influenced or coerced by your sister. (Ex. is your mother supporting and "hiding" your sister because this is her child and she would do anything for her, or is it because she is afraid of your sister or afraid your sister will stop providing necessary care for her. Is your mother mentally competent to make these choices? ) An additional issue may be whether your mother and sister are taking advantage of your father if your mother is actively allowing this "fleecing" to occur without your father's knowledge or consent. (It is not clear from your answer if he is able to understand what is going on.)

This answer provides general legal information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation. It is not intended to create and does not create an attorney-client relationship. The attorney writing this post is licensed in Texas and Washington only and the laws of your jurisdiction may differ.

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Chandra Melissa Lewnau

Chandra Melissa Lewnau


You mention your sister was picked up, tried, convicted and sentenced. I assumed that meant she was no longer a "fugitive." If that is incorrect, then you should also consult a criminal attorney who can explain what liabilities your parents may have for housing your sister.



To clarify the sister showed up for the original hearing in 2001, then not for a 2nd hearing. A bench warrant was issued in 2001 and she was off the map until 2011 until she was stopped by police who did the return on the warrant. It is quite clear the mother covered her. The father is borderline dementia and has had no influence with finances.

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