Bond revoked in woman's fraud, bigamy case

An Augusta woman facing a slew of charges, including theft, fraud and bigamy, is back in jail, suspected of forging a judge's signature.

Terra R. Garner, 34, had been free on a $30,000 bond pending trial in Richmond and Columbia counties.

She has pleaded not guilty to 27 counts of forgery, credit card fraud, financial identity fraud and theft in Columbia County, where she is accused of stealing thousands of dollars from her employer.

She faces seven charges of false swearing, theft, fictitious checks and bigamy in Richmond County, where she is accused of not paying for wedding services and marrying in September while she was still married to someone else.

On Thursday in Richmond County Superior Court, Assistant District Attorney Adam King asked the judge to revoke Ms. Garner's bond based on new fraud allegations.

Mr. King obtained a copy of a reported court document that Ms. Garner had given her new employer, the Department of Energy.

It purports to clear Ms. Garner of any criminal charges because she was a victim of identity fraud, and it bears Superior Court Judge Michael N. Annis' signature. The signature is not the judge's, however, Mr. King said.

It wasn't the first time Ms. Garner has used a document with a fake signature, Mr. King said. She told her former bosses at Ashmore Concrete that she had cancer, and she gave them a letter from "John Hopkins M.D." to support the contention, Mr. King said.

Ms. Garner did not appear for the Thursday morning hearing, although Judge Carl C. Brown Jr. specifically instructed her to do so on Monday.

Assistant Public Defender Ben Jackson asked the judge to postpone the hearing because Ms. Garner reported to his office that she was in the hospital after a car accident.

Judge Brown denied the request, saying it was abundantly clear bond should be revoked. Ms. Garner was arrested later in the day by Richmond County sheriff's officers.

She will be held in jail without bond until her criminal cases are concluded.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.