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Buckhannon woman arrested for allegedly using relatives’ checks to make purchases at Walmart

BUCKHANNON – A Buckhannon woman was arrested after allegedly taking and using checks associated with a bank account belonging to two relatives.

April Kelly, 34, of Buckhannon was arrested Monday on three counts of forgery or uttering, a felony.

According to the criminal complaint in the Upshur County Magistrate Clerk’s Office filed by investigating officer Trooper John Tonkin with the Buckhannon detachment of the West Virginia State Police, on Saturday, Feb. 1, at about 3 p.m. Tonkin received a phone call from Carol Waybright in reference to possible stolen checks.

Waybright said she was the power of attorney for an elderly couple, and she’d recently noticed two unfamiliar transactions on their bank statement. The transactions were checks used to purchase items at Walmart in Upshur County.

Tonkin retrieved the transaction receipts from Walmart, along with video of both transactions that day, the report says. According to the report, the first transaction took place Jan. 20, 2020 at 6:19 p.m. for a total of $94.90, and the second transaction took place Jan. 22, 2019 at approximately 3 p.m. for a total of $93.64.

Tonkin also reviewed footage of both transactions and upon doing so, recognized the female using the checks to be Kelly, the file says. Tonkin noted he’d had previous interactions with Kelly, including one on the previous night — Jan. 31, 2020 – at the residence of the victims where she had told the trooper she was their caretaker.

According to the report, Waybright, the power of attorney, was shown a still photo of the video footage from Walmart and reportedly confirmed the female in the video to be Kelly, and the victim’s daughter also identified Kelly in the video.

The daughter of the victim said Kelly had been hired to take care of the victims and had “uninhibited access” to their personal belongings. When Waybright and the daughter reportedly confronted Kelly and asked if she had taken or used the checks, Kelly denied taking and/or using the checks, the file says.

Magistrate Kay Hurst set bail at $30,000 cash or surety, and as of Wednesday afternoon, Kelly remained incarcerated in the Tygart Valley Regional Jail.

The penalty for a conviction of forgery or uttering is imprisonment in the state penitentiary for one to 10 years, or, in the discretion of the court, confinement in jail for up to one year and a fine of up to $500 on each count.

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