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Family evicted after mother killed by gunman

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 06:19 a.m. HST, Aug 20, 2013

DENVER » The Denver Housing Authority said it had no choice but to evict the relatives of a mother killed by a rampaging gunman three days after her slaying because the victim was the only person listed on the lease.

Family members said 47-year-old Sandra Roskilly was standing on the front porch of her home on Friday when a man with a rifle emerged from his home and killed her. Police Chief Robert White said a police sniper shot and wounded the gunman as he shot a propane canister in an attempt to detonate it.

Police said 31-year-old Daniel Abeyta shot Roskilly and shot and wounded a second woman in her leg.

Abeyta was in critical condition and facing a first degree murder charge, KUSA-TV reported today.

The Denver Housing Authority was apologetic about Monday's eviction of the victim's mother and autistic son and issued a statement saying they had no choice under federal policies and regulations because the head of the household is dead.

"Under federal policies and regulations, once the head of household is no longer with us, a live-in aide no longer has rights to that unit. We understand the family is under duress, but we will be locking the unit because they have no legal rights. We know this is a very tragic situation and offer our condolences," the agency said.

Roskilly's mother, Doris Kessler, 70, is now sleeping on a couch at the home of one of her children. Roskilly's autistic 18-year-old son is being kept in a facility in Pueblo but friends say he often visited his mother.

Roskilly's brother, Dennis Campbell, says his mother and nephew were being given the boot by the city after 20 years. Kessler moved in a decade ago.

"She's been living here 10 years and now they're telling her she's just a visitor and she has no rights whatsoever," Campbell said.

Campbell said Kessler was only allowed to take clothing and papers, and had to leave all of Roskilly's property inside. Officials said a judge will have to determine what will be done with the property.

Daniel Markin has been friends with Roskilly for 30 years. He told KMGH-TV he still has a lot of questions including how his friend wound up in a gunman's sights.

Markin said Abeyta was upset his neighbor's rose bushes were growing onto his property.

Because Roskilly died without a will, her personal belongings will be held by a public administrator, family members said.

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Grimbold wrote:
Bunch of freeloaders lived there without being authorized.
on August 20,2013 | 06:38AM
BIG wrote:
Family members freeloaders ....dont think so ...that was her mother and son...grimbold heartless
on August 20,2013 | 06:45AM
juke wrote:
i feel sorry for you.
on August 20,2013 | 06:59AM
BIG wrote:
Denver Housing Authority....geez
on August 20,2013 | 06:44AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Of course you have a choice and you made the wrong one.
on August 20,2013 | 06:57AM
soundofreason wrote:
again and again. That's why they're there.
on August 20,2013 | 07:32AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
No they have no choice. Public Housing rules are very strict (1) if the lessee dies or moves out the lease terminates, and (2) there is no right of survivorship meaning another family member cannot assume a lease of a deceased family member who was the lessee of the unit. By rule the unit must be vacated and the next qualified family on the Public Housing Authority's waiting list must be offered the unit.
on August 20,2013 | 08:11AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You mean the way Hawaii's public housing has so many people who are severely delinquent on their rent but continue to live there?
on August 20,2013 | 08:18AM
Mypualani wrote:
Yup that's what he means.
on August 20,2013 | 02:43PM
There is a right of survivor ship by another adult family member but they have to be added to the lease as a co-head of household. Happens all the time in Hawaii where an adult child is added as co-head of household. I have even seen where the father who was never reported in the household upon the death of the mother take over a Section 8 rental and welfare benefits for the him and the five children.
on August 20,2013 | 09:57AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
You are exactly right but absent the name on the lease there is no surviroship.
on August 20,2013 | 10:02AM
allie wrote:
bureaucratic nightmare
on August 20,2013 | 07:57AM
AhiPoke wrote:
This is what happens when government is in control. Because governments are staffed by mindless incompetent workers, they are organized to operate without allowances for thinking. Everything is based on rules and regulations that have litlle or no leeway. I guess you can wonder how bad a decision these people could make if they were allowed to think.
on August 20,2013 | 08:21AM
Holomua wrote:
If they were mindless, they wouldn't have apologized. They probably feel bad about it, but have no choice other than to risk a lawsuit from another direction.
on August 20,2013 | 01:10PM
IMVHOAgain wrote:
If they were living there only as a live-in aide that means their income wasn't being counted in the family's share. It's a trade off. Their share of the rent doesn't go up when they moved in but they also don't have any rights to the unit. They are supposed to be there only for the purpose of caring for the head of household. It actually sounds quite the opposite though.
on August 20,2013 | 10:02AM
Bully wrote:
As cold as it sounds they were just doing their job.
on August 20,2013 | 01:59PM
kailua000 wrote:
how about giving the older woman the opportunity to apply under extenuating circumstances, and if only then she doesnt qualify, she leaves. But 3 days. thats cold, very very cold. especially with an autistic grandson she now has to take care of.
on August 20,2013 | 02:11PM
whs1966 wrote:
If the dead woman was the only person on the lease and other people were living there, she was scamming the system. I have no compassion for these people who freeload off hardworking taxpayers.
on August 20,2013 | 05:32PM
whs1966 wrote:
AhiPoke wrote: "This is what happens when government is in control." If it weren't for the gov. you are so quick to criticize, this woman would have had to live somewhere else, She-and her family members--were getting a good deal from the government, but that does not mean those benefits, which they fraudulently obtained, pass to survivors.
on August 20,2013 | 05:35PM
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