Trial begins for woman accused of exploiting disabled man

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Testimony gets underway this morning in the trial of a woman accused of exploiting a disabled man in Bowie County last year.

Karen Paroline, 51, allegedly emptied Sherman Prewitt’s bank account of about $400 by using his debit card at various locations in Texarkana, Texas and the surrounding area. Paroline is accused of leaving the man stranded in a parking lot March 21, 2015, after stealing from him.

A jury of seven men and five women was chosen Tuesday at the Bowie County courthouse in New Boston, Texas, to decide the case. Leon Pesek, Jr., District Judge of the 202nd District, is presiding over the case.

Paroline faces two to ten years in prison if convicted of exploitation of a disabled individual. However, the state has filed notice that it intends to have Paroline sentenced under a greater punishment range because of prior felony convictions.

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Paroline is being represented by Chief Public Defender Rick Shumaker. First Assistant District Attorney Michael Shepherd and Assistant District Attorney Katie Carter are prosecuting. The trial is expected to last one or two days.

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