Victoria Kim, of the Los Angeles Times reported on Apr 15, 2008:
In an eleventh-hour shift in defense strategy, one of two septuagenarian women charged in a hit-and-run murder case turned on her co-defendant Monday, a move some legal experts said could backfire.
Roger Jon Diamond, who represents Helen Golay, 77, told jurors shortly before they began deliberating that co-defendant Olga Rutterschmidt, 75, conspired with Golay’s daughter Kecia in the 2005 slaying of Kenneth McDavid.
“Maybe Olga had different plans, maybe Olga had her own scheme, unknown to Helen Golay, to have these people killed,” Diamond told jurors in his closing arguments.
In his arguments last week, Deputy Public Defender Michael Sklar, Rutterschmidt’s attorney, blamed McDavid’s killing on Golay. Authorities say Golay and Rutterschmidt lured McDavid, 50, and Paul Vados, 73, both homeless, off the streets, sheltered them for two years and ran them over with a car to collect $2.8 million in life insurance.
Deputy Dist. Atty. Robert Grace, visibly delighted with the turn of events, grinned as Diamond ticked off evidence he said incriminated Rutterschmidt, including records of calls from her phone to a number registered to Kecia Golay on the night of McDavid’s murder. Prosecutors say the phone actually belonged to Helen Golay
Grace, in the rebuttal, called the arguments by both defense attorneys “conjecture and speculation with no basis but their imaginations.”
The two women were the “worst of the worst,” Grace said, asking jurors not to be affected by sympathy for the women because of their age and appearance. Golay and Rutterschmidt targeted homeless people that were in need of help, “men who were invisible in our society,” Grace said.
“They got, not help, but a noose from these defendants,” Grace told jurors.
They plucked the destitute off the street as “investments,” insured their lives for millions, then snuffed them out in staged hit-and-run accidents. They became so consumed by greed that they bickered over the money even after their arrests.
At least that’s how prosecutors Tuesday outlined their case against Helen Golay and Olga Rutterschmidt in Los Angeles County Superior Court.