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Richmond County Coroner faces charges of theft and violation of oath of office

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014 10:41 AM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 2:07 AM
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Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten must appear in court for another bond hearing Thursday because of additional criminal charges listed in a 13-count indictment.

Tuten  Richmond County Jail photo
Richmond County Jail photo
Tuten

Tuten, 70, was originally charged with a single count of theft on Dec. 20 and released on a $3,000 bond. On Tuesday, the Richmond County grand jury indicted Tuten on eight counts of theft and five counts of violation of oath of a public office.

According to the indictment, Tuten is accused of stealing from deceased people by taking vehicles, cash and other property, and by keeping money for burial services and the sale of property that should have gone into county coffers.

The offenses allegedly took place from January 2005 through May 21.

The indictment lists the May 2012 alleged theft of a 2004 Nissan Altima that had belonged to Walter Edward Thurston, who died April 11, 2012.

The new allegations of theft listed in the indictment also accuse Tuten of:

• The March 23, 2006, misappropriation of a 1992 Chevrolet Lumina that belonged to Renard Williams;

• The Feb. 26, 2010, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Myrna Todd.

• The Sept. 28, 2010, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Billy Joe Fletcher;

• The Feb. 17, 2011, misappropriation of money that belonged to Elliott Hankinson Jr.;

• The Aug. 26, 2011, misappropriation of a 1998 Ford F 150 pickup that belonged to Richard Krajacic;

• The Nov. 29, 2012, misappropriation of money from Shane R. Hobbs’ estate;

• The April 5, 2013, misappropriation of cash that belonged to Bill Luckie.

The violation of oath of office charges accuse Tuten of:

• Accepting and keeping payment for the burial of Hobbs;

• Selling property that belonged to Krajacic and keeping the proceeds;

• Selling property that belonged to Fletcher and keeping the proceeds;

• Taking money to bury Todd and Hankinson and keeping the proceeds;

• Selling property that belonged to Renard Williams and keeping the money.

According to the indictment, the oath that Tuten is accused of violating is: “he would in no case knowingly use or exercise his office illegally, corruptly or unjustly and that he would not under any pretense, take, accept or enjoy any fee or reward pertaining to his office.”

The prosecutor for the case is FBI Special Agent Charles McKee.

It is unknown if Tuten will also face federal charges.

According to Richmond County Superior Court records, Tuten made an application to dispose of Thurston’s car, stating it had been unclaimed for more than a year. Chief Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet signed the order on July 9, 2012.

Tuten made an application to dispose of Krajecic’ pickup truck, stating it had been unclaimed for more than two years. Judge Daniel J. Craig signed the order Feb. 24, 2011.

Tuten made another application to dispose of a 1997 Mercedes S320 Sedan on Feb. 13. The case was assigned to Judge J. Wade Padgett. There was no order granting the request in that file. However, in a second application for the disposal of “miscellaneous items” unclaimed for more than 180 days, an order granting the motion for the Mercedes was signed by Overstreet on Feb. 18.

Comments (12) Add comment
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itsanotherday1
42295
Points
itsanotherday1 01/15/14 - 12:05 pm
9
2
Good!

I hope Kay Allen is next; then anyone who may have been colluding with her.

CobaltGeorge
155742
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CobaltGeorge 01/15/14 - 12:08 pm
3
2
All I Can Say Is -

Lets Keep Columbia County Clean!!!!

David Parker
7923
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David Parker 01/15/14 - 12:52 pm
6
2
8 full years for it to catch

8 full years for it to catch up to him. I'd say someone got lucky or he got unlucky. SOmeone was definately asleep at the wheel somewhere.

Riverman1
82451
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Riverman1 01/15/14 - 01:35 pm
9
4
Tip of the iceberg.

Tip of the iceberg.

grinder48
1901
Points
grinder48 01/15/14 - 03:44 pm
0
0
Grover Allen and Kay Tooten
Unpublished

Grover Tuten is Kay Allen in disguise ... or is it the other way around?

harley_52
23011
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harley_52 01/15/14 - 04:07 pm
3
0
Nevermind...

Nevermind...

internationallyunknown
4059
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internationallyunknown 01/15/14 - 06:27 pm
3
0
I wonder what else he sold...

I wonder what else he sold...

my.voice
4731
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my.voice 01/16/14 - 09:28 am
2
1
better check his ebay

better check his ebay account.........

Gananna 14
7
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Gananna 14 01/16/14 - 12:00 pm
1
1
Don't be quick to judge Mr. Tuten

What ever happen to innocent until all the evidence has been presented and the fact that a disgruntel employee may be throwing hash because he was unhappy with his position and wanted to be coroner. We don't know the whole truth only what we see and hear in the paper, computer, t.v and Austin Rhodes, what sells. Mr Tuten has been in office 3 terms and I am quite sure he has had people monitoring him and his job or he would not have been elected. He is not stupid. Everything was signed off by Judges, good judges. Get them too then.

Dseven
155
Points
Dseven 01/16/14 - 02:22 pm
1
0
Innocent until proven guilty is a legal concept

In the eyes of the "law" one is "innocent until proven guilty". Luckily the citizenry can form and express (or reserve) their own opinion as they see fit, they don't have to adhere to the "innocent until proven guilty" standard. So... based on news coverage (which may be accurate or full of BS), one (such as I) is free to form and express an opinion in a public forum such as this one (isn't that what this forum is for). It's my opinion, that this guy is a greedy, corrupt public servant who bamboozles judges as the need arises. Is that ok with you? Lastly are you saying that simply because he has been "elected" that he must be honest. So following that logic, all the wonderful so called public servants that are supposedly working on behalf of the citizens in Washington DC must be honest simply because they have been elected.

cathieisgood
10
Points
cathieisgood 01/16/14 - 03:00 pm
1
0
I believe that Mercedes

I believe that Mercedes belonged to a deceased tenant my boss had. He took his gun and other items too. I wonder what happened to the money he had in his checking account as well (around $20,000). The deceased was a disabled vet and I was told that he was supposedly wanted up north and had no next of kin. I don't believe it since he was getting a disability check every month. It seemed shady to me from the beginning but I had no clue what normal procedures were. I called the FBI and haven't gotten a call yet.

cathieisgood
10
Points
cathieisgood 01/16/14 - 03:01 pm
0
0
Oh, and he offered to sell

Oh, and he offered to sell the Mercedes to his caretaker for $3000!

Darby
25098
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Darby 01/18/14 - 12:03 am
1
0
If you think they aren't trying to find a way

to keep him in office, you're a fool!!

.
Good! An opportunity to put the second amendment to the test!

......................................................................

This comment belonged in another thread. Not sure how I put it here.

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