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Monday, January 21 , 2019, 6:52 pm | Fair 58º


2 Women Charged with Killing Solvang ALS Patient

Pair indicted by grand jury in 2013 death of Heidi Good include her mother, 89-year-old Marjorie Good

ALS patient Heidi Good is seen in a photo from her blog surrounded by her husband, Stephen, son, Christopher and daughter, Ashton. Heidi’s mother, Marjorie Good, and Wanda Nelson have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in her death.
ALS patient Heidi Good is seen in a photo from her blog surrounded by her husband, Stephen, son, Christopher and daughter, Ashton. Heidi’s mother, Marjorie Good, and Wanda Nelson have been indicted on first-degree murder charges in her death.  ( “HeidiGoodTimes” blog photo)

Marjorie Good

Two women have been indicted on first-degree murder charges stemming from the 2013 death of a Solvang woman who suffered from ALS.

One of the women charged in the case is the victim’s elderly mother.

The indictments against Marjorie Good, 89, and Wanda Nelson were returned on May 1 by a criminal grand jury, according to a statement released Thursday afternoon by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

The two women are accused of “willful, deliberate and premeditated first-degree murder” for allegedly killing Heidi Good, also known as Heidi Good Swiacki, on March 25, 2013, according to the news release.

No details were provided regarding the possible motive or manner of death, and District Attorney Joyce Dudley told Noozhawk she could not comment due to the secrecy requirements of the grand jury process.

Unless a judge orders the grand jury transcripts sealed, the documents should be made public in about 20 days.

Marjorie Good, who is Good’s mother, was being held at County Jail with bail set at $1 million, according to court records.

Nelson, whose connection to the case was not made clear, was arrested in New York, and was awaiting extradition, according to the DA’s statement.

Marjorie Good made a brief appearance Thursday in Superior Court in Santa Maria, but her arraignment was postponed until Tuesday.

The 33 witnesses who appeared before the grand jury included 13 law-enforcement personnel, as well as Heidi Good’s husband, Stephen Swiacki, and her two children, Ashton and Christopher Swiacki.

While sheriff’s investigators and prosecutors have provided little information about the case, some details can be gleaned from a blog that was started by Good after she was diagnosed several years ago with ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The disease attacks motor neurons, cells that control the muscles, and eventually renders the patient paralyzed and unable to speak.

In a post on the “HeidiGoodTimes” blog, Good’s husband describes how law enforcement descended on the family’s Solvang home on the day of her death.

The family was not allowed to see her body or enter her room, Swiacki wrote in the post, which was apparently directed at his late wife. He said investigators eventually arrived with a search warrant.

“As I walked out our front door,” he wrote. “I asked why. All I was told was that your mom had filed a complaint that I had facilitated your death.”

He later wrote: “It is public knowledge that your death certificate documents that you died within minutes of your vent(ilator) being tampered with.”

Swiacki recounted that he was at work when he was notified that his wife had died.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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