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Attempted Murder Suspect May Have Had Gambling Problem

Gregory Cornelius, 46, is currently jailed for the alleged April 8 attempted murder of his mother. He is also being investigated for possibly using large sums of her money from to support a gambling habit.

A Murrieta man who in April allegedly tried to kill his mother and then himself may have had gambling problems.

Murrieta police detectives are also investigating Gregory Cornelius, 46, on suspicion of stealing from his mother to support a gambling habit, a warrant filed at Southwest Justice Center shows.

Cornelius has been held on $1.09 million bail . Police were called to Via Barletta in The Colony retirement community after Cornelius' girlfriend reported he was trying to kill his 73-year-old mother and himself.

Cornelius was allegedly going to take himself and his mother into the garage and into the car, then roll up the windows and kill them both, the caller told police.

Officers made contact with Cornelius by telephone and convinced him to step out of the residence.

An investigation at the scene revealed Cornelius' mother had allegedly been tied up with duct tape and that her oxygen cord had been severed. The mother, who suffers from COPD, was found bleeding and had bruises on her arms, face and near her left eye.

She was admitted to the hospital, where it was determined she had suffered four broken ribs and a cracked sternum, court documents show.

Once the mother was released from the hospital, detectives learned from family members that her finances were in disarray, Murrieta police Detective Jeff Ullrich wrote.

"...They had suspected their brother had been verbally abusing over the last 18 months since he was released from jail in 2010," Ullrich wrote. "..(They) stated they try not to communicate with their brother because they really do not like him.

"Since Gregory Cornelius moved back into their mother's home they suspected (he) was taking large sums of money from their mother's investment accounts and checking account.

"(They) said over that last few days they have looked into their mother's financial records and were shocked as to what they discovered."

Approximately $190,000 had been withdraw from two investment accounts since 2009, Ullrich wrote. Additionally, several Bank of America accounts were reviewed.

The March 30, 2012 account showed a beginning balance of -$326, the detective wrote. The total amounts of deposits were $33.654.93 and total amount of withdrawals were $31,997.29...the ending balance as of March 30, 2012 was $1,331.64.

"I immediately noticed that several ATM withdrawals were conducted at Barona Casino and Pechanga Casino," the detective wrote.

"Both (brother and sister) stated that Cornelius has a major gambling problem and suspected he was using his mother's accounts to support his gambling habit," Ullrich wrote.

The siblings told detectives their mother did play the slots occasionally, but only the nickel slots.

Detectives sought a warrant to search a sailboat Cornelius lives on in a San Diego marina. One of the siblings said she believed the boat was actually purchased by their mother, Ullrich wrote.

The siblings told detectives their mother was unable to take care of herself medically and that their brother had moved in and taken advantage of her.

Cornelius is due in court Wednesday for a felony settlement conference on charges that include attempted murder, elder abuse, false imprisonment and  He pleaded not guilty April 11 to all charges.

"The financial aspect of the case is being looked into by Det. Ullrich and that part of the investigation is on-going," Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad told Patch.

"Looking at both physical abuse and financial abuse in this type of case is normal. Financial always takes longer to get results back on…if we find a financial crime has occurred—those charges will be added."

Cornelius was previously convicted of DUI, possession of drugs and elder abuse, according to Riverside County court records dating back to 2004.

Wizard Without Remorse June 26, 2012 at 06:40 AM
Amazing? Reading a little between the lines I get the impression that the brother and sister were more concerned that this guy was stealing their inheritance and not particularly concerned that he was "verbally abusive". The article states they had suspected he was abusing their mother for eighteen months and they did nothing. I hope mom recovers and changes her will to leave everything to her cat!
M. Smith July 26, 2012 at 07:45 PM
Gregory estranged his mother from her other children and refused her access to them through phone calls, etc. The family was in court several times over their mother's well being and Greg's negative influence on her life.
think! November 14, 2012 at 06:08 AM
Charles Avery who are you to talk? None of the other children care about any inheritance or do the grandchildren.. because the family is not as fucked and twisted as the one black sheep of the family. This guy deserves to get bent over every night for eternity.

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