DA makes case to charge man in Browns Valley woman’s death
Special to The Union
Though Jeane Terry had been ill from cancer in recent years, friends say she could walk around, sit on her front porch in the sun, and sometimes wanted to dance.
But just a week after receiving homeopathic treatments from a Colorado man in 2015 she died, and last August, he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.
A preliminary hearing for Kevin Mihalik, 62, began Friday and will continue Tuesday, when a Yuba County judge will decide whether or not there’s sufficient evidence to hold him to answer to the charge.
At the hearing, Yuba County sheriff’s Lt. Joe Million testified that Terry met Mihalik at a Nevada clinic the year before her death and made arrangements for him to come to California to administer homeopathic treatments for her cancer. She sent him a $5,000 check for the treatment he indicated he learned while at a cancer treatment facility in Mexico, according to testimony.
After providing instructions and dosages over the phone to Terry and her property caretaker, Mihalik arrived at her home from Colorado in mid-August 2015 to help administer ozone and cesium treatment intravenously, as well to inject it directly into what he advised were cancer tumors in her chest. The caretaker told police that she told Mihalik she was not comfortable providing the alternative treatments as she was not a medical professional; he replied that he wasn’t either, but was a country boy trying to help people, according to testimony.
Cesium chloride is promoted as an alternative cure for cancer treatment, according to the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Supporters claim cesium neutralizes the toxic material produced by tumor cells and prevents them from dividing, but there is no scientific evidence to support the claims. The use of cesium brings the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. Ozone therapy is another alternative therapy which is said to increase the amount of oxygen in the body.
Terry’s health rapidly declined, friends told law enforcement, and she needed help eating, walking and using the restroom. One day, the caretaker found Terry in her bedroom and it appeared she had had a stroke. Terry advised the caretaker and another friend to carry her into the living room — away from the cesium treatment equipment — before calling for medical aid. Terry was transported to a Nevada City emergency room, where doctors said she had low potassium and wanted to insert a feeding tube.
Million testified that the caretaker and Mihalik had an argument at the emergency room over Terry’s treatment; Mihalik wanted to take Terry home and care for her himself; the caretaker was not comfortable with his treatments and left. Another friend had told law enforcement that when visiting Terry, they were concerned with Mihalik’s lack of personal protection and sanitation in administering Terry’s treatments.
The day Terry died, Aug. 23, 2015, Mihalik allegedly hid the cesium equipment in cabinets before deputies arrived, and asked the caretaker for a check Terry had left him, according to testimony. The coroner ruled her cause of death as probable acute cardiac arrhythmia due to cesium toxicity.
Rosenbaum is a reporter for the Marysville Appeal-Democrat. You can reach her at email@example.com.
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