Court-appointed guardian accused of stealing from the vulnerable sentenced to prison

A court-appointed guardian charged with stealing money from the people she was tasked with caring for has been sentenced in Clark County District Court to three to eight years in prison.

Patience Bristol was arrested in October and accused of stealing over $200,000 in money and property from four vulnerable people for whom she had been appointed guardian. Those she was taking care of, referred to as wards, all had some physical or mental disability that prevented them from handling their own affairs.

Representatives of Bristol’s former wards, which included siblings and current guardians, spoke to the court Wednesday detailing the mental and financial hardships brought about by Bristol’s actions. One of the victims is now on state welfare due to the the losses incurred from Bristol, her guardian told the court.

Bristol told police during an interview in July she took the wards’ assets to pay for her mortgage and other bills, personal expenses, and her self-admitted gambling problem. According to police reports, Bristol couldn’t tell detectives how much she spent gambling. She also admitted to police that she gave money to her unemployed boyfriend.

Bristol, who originally faced over a dozen felony charges, agreed to a deal with prosecutors in December and pleaded guilty to a single charge of exploitation of a vulnerable person.

As part of the plea agreement, Bristol will have to pay a total of over $160,000 in restitution payments to the victims.

Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow him on Twitter @ColtonLochhead.