Appeals court upholds ruling against lawyer in theft case

The Washington state Court of Appeals upheld a guilty verdict Monday for an attorney who won a client almost a million dollars in a lawsuit and then stole from him to pay off her mortgage.

Jeffrey Barrett suffered a traumatic brain injury when a drunk driver hit his vehicle in 1995 on Highway 9. He couldn’t recognize his wife and children, according to court documents. He had to relearn how to speak, walk and use the bathroom, the Everett Herald reported.

A year and a half later, his brother hired Helga Kahr to represent Barrett in the civil lawsuit to recover damages from the crash. Kahr won a nearly million-dollar settlement from the Lucky Seven Saloon, arguing it over-served the driver who hit Barrett.

His family reportedly hoped he could live off the money. Instead, Kahr stole nearly $300,000 to pay off her mortgage. She was convicted in 2019 in King County Superior Court on two counts of theft.

Kahr was sentenced to 18 months confinement in 2019. She argued in her appeal that there wasn’t enough evidence to convict her and that Barrett shouldn’t have been ruled competent to testify at trial.

The appeals court disagreed, affirming the original ruling.


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