Man accused of taking woman from Newton nursing home pleads not guilty

NEWTON, MASS. (WHDH) - A Florida man accused of taking a 62-year-old woman from her Newton nursing home pleaded not guilty in court on Friday.

David Collignon, 55, claims he loves Beth Birnbaum, and is concerned about her care, but prosecutors said he is only interested in her money.

Collignon was arrested Thursday night after bringing Birnbaum to Massachusetts General Hospital.

A Newton judge ordered Collignon to stay away from Birnbaum.

He had been watching over her daily at a nursing home since she suffered a stroke in February.

A police investigation began Tuesday, when Collignon took Birnbaum to Florida without permission from the home, nor her health care proxy who is supposed to make all medical decisions.

Collignon’s brother said Birnbaum begged them to get her out of the home because she had been drugged against her will.

Birnbaum is now being checked at Mass. General Hospital, where she was treated for a brain aneurysm initially.

Prosecutors asked a judge to order Collignon to stay away from Birnbau, who he once dated and has known for more than 30 years.

Court documents showed Birnbaum’s brother in New York told Newton Police she is worth $2.5 million and he has concerns Collignon appeared after the stroke to cash in.

Collignon’s attorney said his client has not interest in Birnbaum’s money.

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