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Cassville woman found guilty of theft from priest
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After two and a half hours of deliberation last Thursday, Sept. 29, a Grant County jury found Sandee Sue Turner, 39, Cassville, guilty on three counts of theft-false representation-special facts felony and one count of obstructing an officer, a class A misdemeanor. Turner was found not guilty on one count of theft-business setting-special facts. Sentencing will be held on Oct. 20 at 1 p.m.
Between October 2009 and February 2010, Turner worked as a home health care worker for Father Francis Dominic, now 86 and a resident of Platteville and Dolores Schollmeyer in their home in Kieler.
Schollmeyer had been Father Dominic's housekeeper for over 40 years and was disabled and required a lot of daily living assistance. During this time frame, Turner took thousands of dollars of unearned monies from Father Dominic. Turner also purchased a $12,500 extended cab Chevrolet truck for herself with Father Dominic's and Schollmeyer's money.
Father Dominic currently resides in a care facility in Platteville and Schollmeyer passed away in April, 2011. The obstructing charge stems from lies Turner told the investigating officer at the onset of the investigation in February 2010.
According to the criminal complaint filed in Grant County Circuit Court, on Feb. 24, 2010, Captain Anthony Sheckles with the Grant County Sheriff's Department met with Turner, who indicated that she had been working for retired priest Father Francis Dominic since October 2009, and that she helped him organize his checking accounts and assisted him with paying bills. Turner was also helping care for Delores Schollmeyer, Father Francis Dominic's personal housekeeper who resided with Father Dominic for 46 years until she was placed in a nursing home. Schollmeyer passed away on April 13, 2011.
Captain Sheckles was informed by Turner the only checking account she knew about was Father Dominic's account at Liberty Bank in East Dubuque.
Sheckles observed documents from an account at Clare Bank in Platteville, which was a joint checking account in the name of Francis Dominic and Sandee Turner. Sheckles noticed the checking account was opened on Dec. 7, 2009, in the Kieler office, which is located in the Town of Jamestown and that the account had been closed on Feb. 23, 2010. Sheckles observed documents related to the opening of the account, which showed signatures of both Rev. Francis Dominic and Sandee Sue Turner.
There were several deposits made to the account from Dec. 7, 2009, through Jan. 19, 2010, in the total amount of $95,049.97. A deposit made on Jan. 19, 2010, shows a $46,000 deposit, which indicated a check from Edward Jones in the amount of $50,000 but $4,000 in cash was received. Sheckles then observed withdrawals from the investment accounts of Fr. Francis Dominic and Delores Schollmeyer including $6,000 from the Delores Schollmeyer Edward Jones Investment account on Dec. 4, 2009, $20,000 from the MFS Investment account of Delores Schollmeyer on Dec. 22, 2009, $10,000 from the Edward Jones Investment account of Delores Schollmeyer on Dec. 29, 2009, and $10,000 from the Francis Dominic Edward Jones Investment account on Dec. 17, 2009.
Sheckles also observed withdrawal slips from the joint account of Francis Dominic and Sandee Turner on three separate occasions in the total amount of $26,220. Two of the withdrawals were signed by Turner and the other was noted as a transfer. Records from Turner's personal checking account at Clare Bank showed deposits of $1,000 on Dec. 17, 2009, another deposit for $5,000 on Dec. 28, 2009, and a final deposit of $5,000 on Jan. 25, 2010. There was also a $5,000 deposit into Turner's savings account on Dec. 7, 2009. There were also nearly 40 transactions made from the joint account of Father Dominic and Turner from Dec. 9, 2009, through Feb. 23, 2010. Several were cash withdrawals from an ATM, and checks made out to Sandee Sue Turner, Pioneer Ford, Scenic Rivers and Kay Jewelers.
On June 15, 2010, Sheckles met with Turner who acknowledged a joint bank account she maintained with Father Dominic. Turner said she paid her wages out of Father Dominic's Liberty Bank account and also paid herself a second time out of the joint checking account.
Turner advised Sheckles that a vehicle was purchased for $15,000 with money given to her by Father Dominic and she said she didn't put any of her own funds into the joint account with Father Dominic and she spent some money out of that account and that some things were purchased for Father Dominic from the joint account but not much.
A family member of Delores Schollmeyer's contacted the Sheriff's Department about the incidents which then led to the investigation.