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Three women charged in will forgery case

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Unread 12.12.11, 04:28 PM
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Three women charged in will forgery case

12.12.11 01:28 PM

MEMPHIS, Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Three people were charged with forging a will for the late Tennessee state Rep. Ulysses Jones', officials say.

Earlier this year, a probate judge ruled the will, which left the bulk of Jones' $100,000 estate to Sandra Richards, was a forgery, The Memphis Commercial Appeal reported Sunday.

Now, Richards and friends Avis Langford-Brannon and Beverly Prye have been indicted on charges of tampering with or fabricating evidence, aggravated perjury and forgery over $60,000.

All three surrendered in recent days, officials said.

Jones, a Memphis Fire Department battalion chief, died in November 2010 of complications from pneumonia. After his death, Richards, who told the court Jones was her fiance, presented the will, on which Brannon and Prye, two close friends of Richards, signed as witnesses.

Jones' two children, Victoria Jones, 19, and Ulysses Jones III, 35, contested the will, saying their father left no such document.

Richards claimed she helped Jones write the will on a laptop, but later tossed the hard drive in the Mississippi River after it stopped working.

Judge Robert Benham ruled against Richards, who is also a MFD battalion chief, questioning her credibility and rendering the will invalid.

If convicted on all charges, the three women stand to face 57 years in prison, each. A trial date has not yet be scheduled.

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