Man, 34, accused of conning elderly woman

By Faith Huffman | News-Telegram News Editor

Aug. 1, 2007 - A 34-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after he was accused of conning an 88-year-old Sulphur Springs woman out of a large sum of money.

´┐ŻEarnest Miller Johnson, 34, of Sulphur Springs remained in the county jail Wednesday in lieu of $5,000 bond on a charge of securing the execution of a document by deception.

Johnson also faces two other charges. Bond was set at $2,000 on a charge of theft of property worth between $500 and $1,500, and at $1,000 for theft of property valued between $50 and $500.

´┐ŻJohnson is alleged to have bilked an 88-year-old Sulphur Springs woman out of between $1,500 and $20,000. The woman in May reportedly paid the man with three checks for work to be done to her Whitworth Street property. He told her to address the checks to him instead of a lumber yard for the purchase of supplies. After receiving money, he then is alleged to have returned to her residence, claiming that he would be unable to do the work at that time because his mother was sick. He returned the next day, claiming his mother had died, and indicated he was in need of more money.

After checking into the matter, officers determined that the man’s mother had not died, according to Hopkins County Investigator Lewis Tatum.

Officials located the suspect at his Foscue Street residence Tuesday, and arrested him on two theft warrants. He was later charged with securing execution of a document by deception.

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