Josefina was found beaten and starved in Montano’s apartment, according to prosecutors. She weighed 81 pounds at one point when under the care of Montano, who allegedly had taken the woman's phone and walker, according to The Associated Press and NBC San Diego.
Montano sought out people who were vulnerable, Deputy District Attorney Shanish Aloor said.
“Once she took over the caretaking role, she took over all aspects of their lives,” Aloor said. “She was able to take over benefits and every other aspect of their lives.”
The 74-year-old man died of pneumonia in 2016, but an autopsy found that severe malnutrition contributed to his death. The medical examiner couldn’t determine if he had been intentionally starved, the AP reported.
Montano's lawyer said she cared deeply for the elderly man and the disabled woman and did not mean to harm them.
Nicole Acevedo is a reporter for NBC News Digital. She reports, writes and produces stories for NBC Latino and NBCNews.com.