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Woman may enter guilty plea

By Joe Beck

A woman facing multiple counts of embezzlement linked to the disappearance of money from a charitable fund set up to help pay the medical expenses of a fatally ill boy is likely to plead guilty to some or all of the charges, her attorney said Wednesday.

Jessica Lynn Taylor appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court with attorney Jerry Talton of Front Royal who agreed to a trial date on one set of charges and a separate date for the possible entry of guilty pleas on others.

"I think we're likely to come in with pleas, certainly in the embezzlement case, and there may be other pleas as well," Talton told substitute Circuit Judge John J. McGrath.

Authorities say Taylor was appointed by the family of the late Trent Williams to administer a bank account that would pay for the boy's medical expenses arising from cancer treatment he underwent. The 8-year-old boy was mourned throughout the community after his death last summer.

Strasburg police said Trent Williams' family members found only $69 in the medical account when they went to check it in August. Police described Taylor as a trusted family friend at the time of the alleged offenses.

A search of Taylor's home also turned up painkillers prescribed for Trent Williams, police said.

Taylor is also facing three counts of illegal drug possession. McGrath scheduled a trial date of June 12 for the drug possession charges and May 8 for the possible guilty plea to the five embezzlement charges. Talton and Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley agreed that May 8 will be used to set a trial date for the embezzlement charges if no plea is entered on that date.

Talton said his client had come to court Wednesday prepared to pay restitution, although that issue was not discussed with the judge or Wiseley.

"My client has brought money to square up that aspect of the case," Talton told McGrath.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com


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