A Mt. Juliette, Tn., woman pleaded guilty to charges of theft over $500 on Tuesday morning after she admitted to forging checks and stealing jewelry, with help from co-defendant John Temple, from Della Mae Jackson.
Melissa Nichole Fisher appeared before Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern.
Mrs. Jackson said she had heard Temple was having financial problems, so she offered him some contract work because she felt badly for him. He was supposed to work on her porch and the crown molding in an upstairs bedroom.
On the day he was supposed to start, he brought the 33-year-old Fisher along with him. Mrs. Jackson said after they left, she noticed a diamond ring was missing.
While Mrs. Jackson was out of the house the next day, the pair returned. Another contractor was there working and let them in, thinking they had more work to do. Mrs. Jackson said when she got home, Ms. Fisher and Temple both started acting very nervous.
She also said they both took food without asking and wandered into rooms they were not working in.
She said when their ride showed up, Ms. Fisher went upstairs to use the bathroom. Mrs. Jackson said she was acting suspicious, so she went upstairs to check on things as Ms. Fisher was walking down. It was then she discovered that Ms. Fisher had been in her office.
By the time Mrs. Jackson made it down, Temple and Ms. Fisher were gone. It was then her other contractor told her he had seen Temple looking in drawers.
Mrs. Jackson called Temple the next day and told him not to come back. However, soon after, she discovered a $2,800 withdrawal had been made from her bank account. When she called her bank, officials told her a check had been cashed that was written out to John Temple.
According to police, Temple and Ms. Fisher forged the husband's signature and cashed the check at the Highway 58 Regions Bank. Five other blank checks were also stolen.
In exchange for pleading guilty, charges against Ms. Fisher for theft over $1,000 were dropped.