A woman charged with computer fraud involving a veteran’s organization has pleaded no contest to the charge.
Sixty-four-year-old Deborah Sue Lemmones of Caddo was charged in January 2016 with computer fraud/unlawful use of a computer system. She had been scheduled for a non-jury trial but entered a plea and was given a 10-year suspended sentence.
Lemmones also is required to pay $6,000 in restitution, according to a court document.
She was originally charged in January 2015 with exploitation of an elderly person and computer fraud. Those charges were dropped in December because a victim in the case had died, according to Bryan County District Attorney Emily Redman.
Lemmones came under investigation after Richard Chase, a Vietnam veteran who died in 2014, spoke to the district attorney’s office about a woman he said had been defrauding veterans.
Before his death on July 26, 2014, Chase was active with the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 986 in Durant. He contacted authorities after learning of several incidents where Lemmones had allegedly convinced veterans to loan her large sums of money.
An affidavit by District Attorney Investigator David Cathey states Lemmones obtained money from VVA by means of computer fraud.
Paul Blake of the local VVA told Cathey he had identified 20 electronic withdrawals from February 2012 until December 2013 from the VVA bank account at First United Bank, and according to the affidavit, each of the transactions, totaling $7,953.11, was used to pay a phone bill Lemmones said was in her husband’s name.
Cathey questioned Lemmones in June 2014 and she told him that the transactions were used to pay the phone bill that was in her husband’s name, but he knew nothing about them, according to the the affidavit.
In other crime news, 60-year-old Keith Eugene Nichols and 52-year-old Zulma Perez Nichols of Mead were charged this week with cruelty to animals.
According to a court document, the couple failed to provide adequate food, water, shelter and medical care to dogs owned by them. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.
Thirty-one-year-old Judson Wayne Wilson of Pottsboro, Texas, was charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. Court papers state he possessed more than 20 grams of methamphetamine on Jan. 1. Wilson was arrested by Durant Police.
Forty-five-year-old Bobby Joe Shults AKA Bob Shults was arrested by Durant Police on charges of embezzlement and two counts of false declaration of ownership in pawn.
According to police, Shults acquired multiple firearms through his business, Three Percent Firearms and Coating LLC, and received financial benefit from selling and pawning some of firearms without paying or making a valid attempt to pay the customer.
Police said other victims have come forward and anyone who has been a victimized by Shults should contact the Durant Police Department Criminal Investigation Division.
One suspect charged in a child abuse case has been arrested. Police said 30-year-old Christina Lynn Cothrum has been taken into custody, and her husband, 37-year-old Jarrod Andrew Cothrum, is expected to be arrested today.
Mr Cothrum was charged with child abuse by injury and Mrs. Cothrum was charged with enabling child abuse by injury.
The couple was charged in December following an investigation by Durant Police Investigator Buddy Faulkner. According to a probable-cause affidavit, Mr. Cothrum is accused of striking a 3-year-old boy on the head and also hitting him in the back with a leather belt.
Mrs. Cothrum was charged with enabling the child abuse because she knowingly allowed the children to be in a dangerous situation, according to the affidavit.
The affidavit states the child had several bruises on his face, head and body.
From court records and staff reports.
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