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Marshall pleads guilty to theft from Sequatchie County Fair

DUNLAP, Tenn. — Karen Marshall, one of the two women accused of taking funds from the Sequatchie County Fair Association early last year, entered a guilty plea and was sentenced on January 26, 2018, by Circuit Court Judge Justin C. Angel in Sequatchie County.

Karen Marshall (Photo: Courtesy Sequatchie County Sheriff’s Dept.)

Marshall had served as the fair board’s president prior to the incident.

Investigators determined that Marshall had used two schemes to steal at least $2,000 by writing and cashing them and using the fair’s debit card for personal benefits.

Her sister, Pamela Smith, who served as the fair association’s treasurer was also indicted last year after she stole nearly $5,200 from the fair association by writing and transacting at least 10 unauthorized checks, including checks to herself and to cash.

Both women admitted to investigators that they used fair association money for personal use and both resigned their positions on the fair board.

On January 23, 2017, the Sequatchie County Grand Jury indicted each of the women on one count of theft over $1,000. Smith pleaded guilty in February 2017 and was sentenced by Judge Curtis Smith to two years’ “judicial diversion” in which she would undergo supervised probation and be required to pay $5,200 in restitution to the Sequatchie County Fair Board Association.

Marshall’s case, however, was complicated by a previous record of theft. Marshall was indicted by the Sequatchie County Grand Jury Sept. 22, 1997, for stealing $1,419 from McDonald’s restaurant while working there as a manager.

Through a pre-trial diversion in that prior incident, Marshall was allowed to avoid going to trial on those charges by agreeing to pay restitution and court costs. Once those requirements were met, her record would have been expunged. However, according to Circuit Court Clerk Karen Millsaps, at the time of her indictment last year, those conditions were not met and the charges were not expunged.

In the almost year that’s elapsed since Marhsall’s 2017 indictment, those previous matters have been cleared-up and she was able to plead guilty to theft of property over $1,000 at the January 26th sentencing hearing.

Judge Angel sentenced her to a two-year supervised probation sentence and she must pay court costs along with $2,000 in restitution to Sequatchie County Fair Board Association.

 

 

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