Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Top Stories

July 11, 2013

Palo Pinto County jurors sentence woman to 75 years

By LIBBY CLUETT

PALO PINTO – Writing hot checks has resulted in a Palo Pinto County jury assessing Paula Kay Freeman, 43, with a $10,000 fine and a 75-year sentence in prison.

Freeman had already pleaded guilty in court, according to Palo Pinto County District Attorney Mike Burns, who said the defendant asked to be sentenced by a jury. The trial to assess her punishment took all day Tuesday. Burns said jurors deliberated for an estimate 40 minutes on Wednesday before assessing her punishment.

In addition to the time and fine, Palo Pinto County District Judge Mike Moore added $27,300 in resitution – the amount of hot checks Freeman wrote on a 73-year-old

Palo Pinto County resident’s account, according to Burns.

He explained that the defendant, currently a Corsicana resident, worked as a cook at the Crazy Water Retirement Hotel from January to August 2012.

“She passed 66 fraudulent checks on [the senior man’s] account for a $27,300 total loss,” Burns said. “This was a 73-year-old, three-time Vietnam veteran, who retired after 23 years of active service in the Army.”

Burns explained some facts that came out in trial included that the defendant “worked as an employee [cook] in the Crazy Water Retirement Hotel in 2012 and had access to residents’ rooms. The State produced evidence that she stole mutliple books of this 73-year-old man’s checking account.”

Burns explained that between that January-to-August period, Freeman used the 66 checks to purchase “merchandise at Walmart.”

“She ceased her employment when the Crazy Water closed and lived on [the victim’s] checking account. Her husband was in on this and he is also charge, we haven’t gotten to his case,” Burns said.

“The way they did this was by using the system at Walmart.”

He explained that the store has a “machine that checks the electronic numbers on a check. It doesn’t look at the balance, and they do not ask for ID – it’s Walmart policy, that’s what the evidence was according to witnesses from Walmart. The only way they will ask for ID is if an account is flagged. They do not unilaterally ask for ID.”

Text Only
Top Stories
  • The Marshes.jpg Marshes onboard with Baker comeback

    Ever since the Baker Hotel's final closing, the center of “main and main,” has been rotting out.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • hazmat3.jpg Truck rollover dumps flammable liquids

    A tractor-trailer rollover on southbound U.S. Highway 281 sent the truck's driver to the hospital and resulted in a spill of more than 5,200 gallons of combustible petroleum distillates into a ditch.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • library2.jpg From a Winter Victorian Evening to a Spring BOOKNANZA!

    In December, the Friends of the Boyce Ditto Library (FOL) invited members of various groups who had supported the organization, such as the library advisory board, the library staff and the Brazos Foundation, to a dinner held in the library.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Balloons.jpg Despite high winds, Go Blue! balloon release a big GO!

    April is National Child Abuse prevention month, and all month long Palo Pinto County Child Welfare Board, PPC Children's Alliance Center and CASA along with other organizations, have banded together in an effort to promote awareness on the largest scale possible.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • BURN BAN.jpg Commissioners reinstate burn ban

    Monday morning, Palo Pinto County Commissioners approved a motion to reinstate the countywide burn ban, which had been lifted in late March.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joe Erwin.jpg It’s All in the Family

    Any organization is a reflection of its employees.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • dowser.jpg Dowsing for Flight 370

    Bill Farmer thinks of Philip Wood, the Keller man who was onboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which has been missing since March 8.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • mel mug.jpg Index publisher to retire this month

    In 1990, I enrolled in a few classes at Weatherford College, one of them being Speech. The class changed the course of my life.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • Project graduation skeet shoot Saturday

    The Mineral Wells High School Class of 2014 Project Graduation will be co-hosting a sporting clay shoot in partnership with the Palo Pinto County Sheriff’s Posse on Saturday, April 12.

    April 11, 2014

  • 0411 NASCAR01.jpg Truckin’

    It’s taken some time and a lot of work, but Ted Minor has joined the world of NASCAR.

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SmugMug


Click on a photo to see our SmugMug photos

Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.