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Local News

Arraignment Continued for Mom, Caregiver Charged with Killing ALS Patient

Marjorie Good
Marjorie Good (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The caregiver and mother charged with killing an ALS patient made their second Santa Barbara County Superior Court appearance Friday morning.

The arraignment hearing for Marjorie Good, 89, and Wanda Nelson was continued until June 18 and assigned to Santa Maria Department 6. 

The women are charged with first-degree murder in connection with the 2013 death of Solvang resident Heidi Good Swiacki, reportedly by tampering with her ventilator.

Marjorie Good is the mother of Heidi Good Swiacki. Nelson is believed to have been Swiacki's caregiver.

At the last hearing 10 days ago, Judge Gustavo Lavayen agreed to release Marjorie Good on her own recognizance while the case makes its way through the courts.

Nelson remains in custody in lieu of $1 million bail. 

A criminal grand jury indicted the two women May 1, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office. Before handing down the indictments, the grand jury heard from 33 witnesses, including 13 law enforcement personnel and Swiacki's husband and two children.

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.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully 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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