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Investigator: Home invasion had no apparent link to Giannaris' death

September 29, 2010|By DON AINES
  • Nick Giannaris
File photo,

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Authorities on Wednesday continued to investigate a home invasion by armed intruders at the home of the late Nick Giannaris, and an investigator with the Washington County Sheriff's Office said there was no apparent link between the home invasion Monday night and Giannaris' death Tuesday morning.

Nothing was reported stolen in the incident, which occurred shortly before 7 p.m. Monday at the Meadowbrook Road home of Giannaris, Sheriff's Office Detective Greg Alton said Wednesday.

Giannaris and two family members were in the house when it was entered by two people, at least one of whom was armed with a handgun, Alton said.

The intruders "told them to keep their heads down and not to look at them," Alton said.

The intruders were in the house for a very brief time and neither the family nor investigators could determine if anything was taken, Alton said.

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The people in the house were shaken by the experience, but no one was hurt, Alton said. He said he did not know whether Giannaris was aware of the intruders.

"There's nothing that connects this home-invasion robbery to his death," Alton said.

The intruders likely entered the house through the garage door, which had been left up, Alton said.

"We're investigating several leads," Alton said.

This was not the only instance this year of the Giannarises being victims of a crime, according to court documents.

In March, charges were filed against a Hagerstown woman accused of writing more than 70 checks to herself from the bank accounts of Nick and Tina Giannaris, according to the application for statement of charges filed by the sheriff's office.

Kelli Fae Marie White, 39, of 13819 Pennsylvania Ave., was charged with a total of 222 counts, including 51 counts of theft of more than $500; 14 counts of theft between $1,000 and $10,000; nine counts of theft of less than $1,000; and 74 counts each of forging and issuing false documents, court documents show.

A relative of Nick and Tina Giannaris reported in March 2010 that Nick Giannaris had home health care providers for about three years, including White, the application for statement of charges said. Investigators alleged that from 2007 to 2010, 74 checks written to White from the Giannarises' account bore the apparently forged signature of Tina Giannaris, court records show.

The checks were stolen from the couple's checkbook, the application said. The amount stolen amounted to $80,533, records show.

White also was charged with theft of $10,000 to $100,000, theft of $1,000 to $10,000 and theft of less than $1,000 in a separate case involving the Giannarises, court documents show. In that case, White is accused of taking and pawning jewelry, including a Rolex watch valued at about $30,000, according to the application for statement of charges in that case.

Investigators allege White pawned a bracelet and a medallion belonging to the Giannarises on April 26, documents show. White turned over the watch to investigators when questioned April 27, the statement alleged.

White told investigators that "Mr. Giannaris told her to take the jewelry, including his Rolex watch, and to hold onto it until he passed away," the application said. White told investigators that Giannaris also told her to take the checks because "he wanted to help her," records show.

White is scheduled for trial in both cases Nov. 16, according to Washington County Circuit Court records.

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