FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jackson, MS - A Panola County Circuit Jury took less than 15 minutes to convict a Sardis woman of forging a court document, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Samantha Johnson, 40, a former Secretary for a Batesville law office used her position to compose a fictitious Chancery Court divorce document by forging signatures, including a Deputy Clerk’s and presenting the document to an unsuspecting client as if the document had been approved and filed, when in fact it had not.
Immediately following the trial Monday, Johnson was sentenced to serve 10 years, day for day, in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections by Circuit Court Judge Jimmy McClure.
Johnson was sentenced as a habitual offender (99-19-81) because she had previously been convicted of nine other felonies, including seven convictions of forgery and two embezzlement convictions in Panola County during 1999 and 2003.
“We appreciate the strong sentence from Judge McClure and are very pleased that this defendant will be off the streets for a while and will have plenty of time to re-think her life of crime,” said Attorney General Hood. “It is appalling that she could even consider taking advantage of the court system, and we are hopeful that the victims in this case has received some sense of justice from this conviction handed down by the Panola County Jury.”
This case was handled by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, investigated by Chief Investigator Richie McCluskey with the assistance of Batesville Police Detective Jeremiah Brown and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General David Linzey and Special Assistant Attorney General Crystal Utley.