Woman pleads guilty to embezzlement, shoplifting

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A woman who pocketed more than $70,000 in funds belonging to her former employer pleaded guilty Monday before a judge in Bowie County.

Latisha Nicole Jenkins McMurry, 33, appeared Monday morning before 102nd District Judge Bobby Lockhart for a plea hearing with Texarkana attorney Michael Friedman at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Texas. McMurry pleaded guilty to theft, $30,000 to $150,000, and to theft under $2,500 with two or more prior convictions.

McMurry professed her innocence to the lesser theft charge Thursday when Lockhart ordered her locked up for violating her bond. Monday she admitted her guilt to the crimes pending against her in Texas. Lockhart agreed to release McMurry on the bond he revoked Thursday with the conditions that she wear a GPS monitor and refrain from the use of methamphetamine. Lockhart scheduled McMurry to return to court in August for formal sentencing and directed the probation department to prepare a presentence investigation which will include a recommendation for punishment and special programs should community supervision be ordered. McMurry is expected to be ordered to pay restitution to her former employer as well.

McMurry allegedly made personal purchases with business funds to a Bancorp South account while working in purchasing, accounting and office management for Texarkana Parts and Logistics between July 2014 and February 2016, according to a probable cause affidavit.

McMurry’s employer noticed a shortage in the company’s Bancorp South account and asked McMurry for copies of banking records. The records McMurry provided to her employer were allegedly altered to conceal multiple charges to Capital One, Nissan Finance, Verizon, AT&T, Barclays, Richardson Waste, Southwest Electrical Cooperative and Dish Network. The records were changed to make it appear the missing money had gone to actual business expenses rather than to McMurry’s financial benefit.

McMurry’s supervisor acquired the account records directly from the bank and compared them to the ones McMurry provided. Texarkana Parks and Logistics alerted Texarkana, Texas, police to the alleged theft telling officials McMurry was the “one person” who had primary use of the company debit card during the time the account came up short by $74,198.10.

Later in 2016, McMurry found herself in trouble with Arkansas authorities.

McMurry was arrested by deputies with the Miller County, Ark., Sheriff’s Office in November 2016 after a traffic stop where she was allegedly found in possesion of syringes, digital scales, and methamphetamine. A daughter, whose age is not specified, was released to a family member at the time of that arrest, according to a probable cause affidavit.

McMurry was charged again last month. She was caught trying to steal clothing May 21 from Target. Loss prevention associates stopped her as she attempted to leave the store with merchandise she attempted to hide under her purse. Because of prior convictions, McMurry was charged with a felony in that case and faces six months to two years in a state jail, or probation, at sentencing.

McMurry faces two to 10 years on the embezzlement or a term of probation up to 10 years. If convicted of possessing methamphetamine in Arkansas, she faces up to six years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.

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