Charleroi woman denied lowered bond in attack on elderly Rostraver woman
A pregnant Charleroi woman, who is charged in the home invasion and robbery last month of an elderly Rostraver woman, lost a bid Friday to get out of jail.
Westmoreland County Judge Rita Hathaway denied a request from Bobbi Drdul to lower her $500,000 bond or release her on nominal bail, saying Drdul was instrumental in the Oct. 21 attack on 91-year-old Frances “Fannie” Tekavec.
“I think she had a big part in this crime,” Hathaway said. “… This is a horrendous crime against an elderly woman in her own home.”
Drdul, 20, was arrested after police found her work time sheet in Tekavec’s home following the robbery.
After initially denying any knowledge of the attack, Drdul identified her boyfriend, the father of her unborn child, and two other men as being involved in the robbery, according to Assistant District Attorney Karen Patterson. Drdul made the revelation two days after her arrest.
“She was not involved in the planning, but after the fact received stolen property and money,” Patterson said.
Police contend three masked men stormed into Tekavec’s home, removed $28 from the elderly woman’s purse and then took jewelry valued at $20,000, about $900 in cash and several Susan B. Anthony golden dollars from a wall safe.
Tekavec was knocked against a refrigerator and to the floor, police said. She suffered a broken vertebra and underwent surgery in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.
The robbers bound Tekavec’s hands and feet. She got free about 20 minutes after the robbers left in Drdul’s car, according to police.
Brandon Danilchak, 27, of Donora and Gregory David Howard, 46, of Monessen were charged last week with robbery, criminal conspiracy, unlawful restraint, aggravated assault, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and simple assault for the robbery.
Drdul’s boyfriend, Lamont “Tego” Dixon, 35, of Donora was charged a few days earlier. Patterson said he too is cooperating with investigators.
Danilchak, Howard and Dixon are in the prison under $1 million bond apiece. They are scheduled to appear Nov. 24 before District Judge Charles Christner for preliminary hearings.
Drdul, who faces charges of hindering apprehension and receiving stolen property, waived her right to a preliminary hearing this month.
Drdul asked to be released from jail to receive medical attention from her own doctors. She told Hathaway she is four months pregnant and receiving prenatal vitamins while in prison.
Assistant Public Defender Jack Manderino said Drdul should be released because her private health insurance would pay for doctor visits.
Westmoreland County Prison Warden John Walton said Drdul’s medical care at the lockup would be covered under the county’s $1.9 million medical contract with Wexford Health Sources.
“We will be responsible for the costs of transporting her to the doctors and staying with her in the hospital,” Walton said.
Manderino, in arguing for Drdul’s release, said she has no prior criminal record, works two jobs, lives with her mother and sisters, and would not be in jail very long even if she is convicted. He said the most serious offense Drdul faces carries a standard sentencing range of probation to three months in jail.
The judge countered that Drdul could be sentenced to a maximum term of seven years in prison.
Rich Cholodofsky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-830-6293 or [email protected].