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Woman Charged With Felony Theft

By Lynda Jones
Editor-in-Chief
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Mary Elaine Stephens, 72, was booked into the Houston County Jail and released Friday, Aug. 11, on $10,000 bond for a felony theft charge. (HCSO Photo)Mary Elaine Stephens, 72, was booked into the Houston County Jail and released Friday, Aug. 11, on $10,000 bond for a felony theft charge. (HCSO Photo)A Houston County Grand Jury indicted Mary Elaine Stephens, 72, in June for alleged theft of funds from the estates of Vencie and Melba Beard between June 1, 2012, and Feb. 10, 2016.

Stephens was arrested by the Houston County Sheriff's Office Friday, Aug. 11, and released on $10,000 bond.

The indictment alleges Stephens did, "Unlawfully appropriate, by acquiring or otherwise exercising control over, property, to-wit: U.S. currency, of the value of $100,000 or more but less than $200,000, from the estates of Vencie and Melba Beard, the owner thereof , without the effective consent of the owner, and with intent to deprive the owner of the property."

According to the indictment, the alleged crime is a second degree felony.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty by due process of law.