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Caregiver pleads guilty to trying to kill Tigard vet

Linda Jean Barrett agrees to serve 7½ years in prison for her Sept. 19 assault on Virgil G. Brown

HILLSBORO - Linda Jean Barrett pleaded guilty Monday in Washington County Circuit Court to attempting to kill an elderly Tigard man in September for whom she had been a caregiver.

She also agreed to serve 7½ years in prison.

Following an argument at the home of Virgil Glen Brown, a 93-year-old World War II veteran, Barrett, 47, struck him on the head with a plate and a clock, which left him unconscious, according to Tigard police who responded to the home Sept. 19.

Following the attack, Brown apparently was unconscious for more than an hour before he was able to walk to a neighbor's house to get help despite heavy bleeding.

Police arrived at the scene and took Barrett into custody, and Brown was taken to Legacy Meridian Park Hospital, where he spent five days before being released to an adult-care facility.

He returned to the hospital Sept. 28 after complaining that he did not feel well, and he died that night.

An autopsy did not reveal the cause of Brown's death, but State Medical Examiner Dr. Karen Gunson said that he had some age-related conditions in addition to suffering injuries in the earlier attack.

Barrett apparently met and befriended Brown and eventually moved into his home to care for him, but then the arrangement went sour.

The two allegedly got into the Sept. 19 fight over her lack of attention to Brown, which led to her striking him.

Police initially charged Barrett with attempted murder and first-degree assault; on Monday, she pleaded guilty to the original charges plus three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment and unlawful use of a weapon.

Before the Sept. 19 assault, Brown had changed his will to leave Barrett $25,000, and as part of her plea deal, she agreed to forfeit any claim to his estate.

Barrett is expected to be sentenced Feb. 11.