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Woman, 57, gets 10 1/2 years in death of companion, 85

Citizen Staff Writer



Linda Darlene Giles, 57, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 1/2 years in prison by Pima County Superior Court Judge Michael Cruikshank for the reckless manslaughter of 85-year-old James Carafas in 2006.

Giles, who is also known as Mary Collins and Linda Makil, ran over him with a pickup truck in his driveway, according to testimony in the case.

She was convicted by a jury March 13.

Prosecutor Daniel Nicolini said Giles had a blood-alcohol level of between 0.13 and 0.15 percent when tested after the incident. A level of .08 is the legal threshold for intoxicated and impaired in Arizona.

Her attorney, Anthony J. Abruzzo, said she should have been charged with drunken driving, not for killing the man she loved and who rescued her from a lifetime of abuse.

Abruzzo asked at Giles’ sentencing hearing Wednesday that she get the minimum sentence of seven years in prison.

Nicolini said Carafas’ chest was crushed by the truck and that Giles knew what she was doing.

Abruzzo said Giles mixed a glass of wine with a prescription drug she takes for panic attacks and the combination caused her to be impaired when she left Carafas’ home after an argument with a friend and began to drive out of the driveway.

The two met in New York 30 years ago and maintained a friendship that turned into a live-in relationship during the last year or so of his life.

Nicolini said they likely were lovers, too.

Giles was living on Social Security Disability payments and food stamps when the millionaire invited her to live with him in his Tucson home after his wife died.

Abruzzo maintained Giles was simply his loving caretaker and friend.

Nicoloni said she alienated Carafas from his friends and family. Carafas gave her joint tenancy of his 15 apartment buildings and a bank account he funded for her expenses, Nicoloni said.

Carafas’ family sued successfully to block Giles from obtaining his assets after his death.

Abruzzo said Giles is indigent now and is seeking a court-appointed attorney to appeal the manslaughter conviction.

“I am remorseful. This (was) a horrible accident,” she told Cruikshank. “I loved him and he loved me.”

Cruikshank could have sentenced her to the minimum, seven years, but gave her the presumptive sentence of 10 1/2 years.

Abruzzo said if Giles “had shut up” and not spoken to police right after the incident, “there never would have been a case, but she felt she had nothing to hide.”

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