Deputy coroner allegedly stole from dead
Jan 25,2008 00:00 by UPI

AUGUSTA, Ga. - A deputy coroner in Georgia has been charged with stealing gift cards from a woman who killed herself on New Year's Eve.

Charlena Graham was arrested Wednesday in her office in Richmond County, the Augusta Chronicle reported. She was immediately dismissed from her position after being charged with a single count of theft by taking.

Graham allegedly appropriated five gift cards with a total value of about $400 from stores that included Target, Macy's and Victoria's Secret, officials said. Because Graham is a public official, the alleged theft is automatically a felony.

The gift cards belonged to a woman who shot herself at the Baymont Inn and Suites on Dec. 31.

Sheriff's deputies gave the woman's personal items to Graham, the report said. Family members later reported that gift cards appeared to be missing.

Investigators have evidence that includes videotapes of Graham allegedly using the gift cards to buy items for her own use, Sheriff Ronnie Strength reported.

Graham started in law enforcement as a police officer in Augusta and then worked for the county when the city and county police forces merged.

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