A Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge dismissed all the charges against the Bell County Clerk and two deputy clerks on Thursday.
Special Judge David Tapp signed an agreed order to dismiss the case against Rebecca Blevins, 46, of Pineville, Kayla Carnes, 24, of Arjay, and Connie Watkins, 40, of Pineville.
The order states Blevins’ indictment was dismissed with the stipulation that she not seek re-election or hold any elective public office after the expiration of her present term. This case was dismissed without prejudice.
Special prosecutor Ben Davis declined to comment on the reasoning for dismissing the case.
Lowell Lundy, one of Blevins’ attorneys, said this was the rare case when the Office of the Attorney General and the defense attorneys came to the best resolution for everyone.
“I want to complement the special assistant commonwealth’s attorney and the investigator for the Attorney General’s Office for reaching this resolution,” said Gary Crabtree, Blevins’ second attorney. “This resolution avoids a trial for both parties and accomplishes some results that both parties really wanted.”
Crabtree said Blevins never took any money or knowingly possessed a forged document. He said he always felt confident the ultimate result would be in Blevins’ favor. He also pointed out Blevins has been a deputy or county clerk since the mid-1980s.
Blevins, Carnes and Watkins were arrested in November following an investigation by Attorney General Jack Conway’s Department of Criminal Investigation. The three were indicted in December.
Blevins was indicted for two counts of abuse of public trust less than $10,000, one count of abuse of public trust over $10,000 and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Carnes was indicted on five counts of second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.
Watkins was indicted for second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument.
According to the indictment, there were three instances when Blevins had a shortage of accounts for sales tax receipts, which she dealt with as her own, having failed to make the required reimbursement payments to taxpayers. The amounts that were not reimbursed include $6,392.04; $14,817.25; and $1,237. The alleged offenses occurred in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
The indictment states that on or about March 10, 2009, Blevins had in her possession a forged vehicle transfer registration for a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup purchased by Mitchell Charles from Morristown Chevrolet Buick.
For Carnes, the indictment states she had in her possession five forged vehicle transfer registrations between 2009 and 2010. She had forged registrations for a 2002 Chevrolet S-10 pickup purchased by Charles from Morristown Chevrolet Buick, a 2004 Toyota Corolla purchased by Freddy Miracle from Rick McGillis Airport Toyota, a 2007 Cadillac Escalade purchased by Scott Hall from Airport Cadillac, a 2010 black Ford Fusion purchased by James or Pamela Sutton from Ted Russell Ford and a 2006 Dodge Ram truck purchased by Charles Simpson from Rainbow Chevrolet.
The alleged offense claimed against Watkins occurred in July 2010. She allegedly had in her possession a forged vehicle transfer registration for a 2010 Chevrolet Avalanche purchased by David Arvin from Reeder Chevrolet.
Anthony Cloud can be reached at 606-248-1010, ext. 1125 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.