CONNIE HOPE STAPLETON
ROGERSVILLE — The sister of a Hawkins County man who died in 1999 was named in a sealed Hawkins County grand jury indictment earlier this month accusing her of stealing more than $80,000 from his estate over the course of more than 14 years.
Connie Hope Stapleton, 63, 1003 Old Highway 11-W, Mooresburg, was charged with one count of theft over $60,000 in a Dec. 9 sealed indictment.
Stapleton was arrested on that sealed indictment warrant on Dec. 12 by Third Judicial District Attorney General Berkeley Bell’s criminal investigator Teddy Collingsworth, who led the investigation into this case.
Stapleton had been the administrator of the estate of her late brother, Byrd H. Golden, since his death on Jan. 14, 1999.
According to court records, Golden’s heirs consist of three brothers and nine sisters, and his estate has been in probate court since his death.
On Nov. 5, Circuit Judge Mike Faulk, sitting in for Chancellor Doug Jenkins, issued an order removing Stapleton as the administrator of Golden’s estate.
That order was based on testimony given during an Oct. 31 hearing in Hawkins County Chancery Court in which Stapleton failed to appear.
Faulk’s order states, “The current administrator Connie Stapleton has taken, and continues to take, funds from the bank account of the decedent estate of Byrd H. Golden deposited in Capital Bank in the approximate amount of $80,000 for her personal use. The court finds that unless Connie Stapleton is removed as administrator of the estate she will continue to remove these funds for her personal use, it is accordingly ordered by the court that Connie Stapleton is hereby relieved of her duties as administrator of the estate of Byrd H. Golden.”
Stapleton is scheduled for arraignment in Hawkins County Criminal Court on Dec. 31.
She remained held in the Hawkins County Jail on $60,000 bond.