Commonwealth Journal

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February 18, 2013

Former clerk indicted for forgery

Turpin also faces persistent felony offender charge

Somerset —  

Former Wayne County Clerk Jennifer Melissa Turpin was indicted earlier this month on forgery charges after she allegedly faked Pulaski County Clerk Ralph Troxtell’s name on a vehicle title. 
Turpin, 40, of Monticello, was arrested on Thursday, Feb. 7 and she was lodged in the Pulaski County Detention Center on a $25,000 cash bond. She has since posted bail and been released. 
The Wayne County Outlook, a sister paper to the Commonwealth Journal, reported that the second-degree forgery indictment handed down by a Pulaski County grand jury is based on an investigation by the Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigations that began in Aug. 2012.
Turpin, while serving as the office manager and title clerk for Somerset Auto Auction, is accused of forging Troxtell’s signa-ture  on a title for a 2006 Toyota Highlander sold on Craig's List to a Mary-land resident, according to the Outlook’s report. 
Turpin is also charged with being a persistent felony offender “by being convicted of at least two prior felonies,” according to the indictment. 
Officer Paul Underwood, with the Attorney General’s Office, appeared as witness before the grand jury. 
Turpin is currently on probation in Wayne Circuit Court, where she pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges of theft and abuse of a public trust over $10,000. Those charges are connected to deficits found in audits of her office, according to the Outlook. She resigned from her position as Wayne County Clerk in Oct. 2009.
Turpin is also on probation in Franklin Circuit Court for filing false tax returns and failure to pay taxes, according to the Outlook.
Turpin is scheduled to be arraigned in Pulaski Circuit Court on Thursday. 
An indictment is an accusation only. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court. 

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