The Central Virginian

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Bumpass man convicted of 18 felony charges

Posted on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 11:09 am

During a bench trial in Louisa Circuit Court on March 22, Jeremiah Johnson Cox, of Bumpass, was found guilty of six counts of forgery, six counts of forgery and uttering, and six counts of obtaining money under false pretenses.

In the Commonwealth’s case, Whitney Thacker, Cox’s girlfriend, stole checks from her mother, Brenda Thacker, which she then forged and Cox took to the bank to cash so they could purchase drugs.

Five witnesses from Virginia Community Bank testified on behalf of the Commonwealth verifying the checks, the amounts and which branch the checks were cashed.

On March 29, 2012, Heather Stewardson, bank teller at the main branch, realized that the signature on the check Cox presented for cash, was not the same as on the account’s signature card.

When Stewardson called the Thacker residence, Ernest Thacker answered the phone.  He told Stewardson that Cox had no authorization to cash any check on his account and requested the bank call the police.  At that time, Stewardson testified Cox grabbed his identification and left the bank.

In court, Whitney tearfully identified each of the six checks she had forged and given to Cox to cash.

Whitney testified that she had been in a relationship with Cox for the past six years and confirmed they used drugs together.

When defense attorney Richard Harry cross-examined Whitney, asking what she hoped to gain by testifying, she responded that she was just trying to tell the truth.

Harry asked her what made these circumstances different from the past, when she had forged her mother’s signature on previous checks. Whitney testified that her mother did not know about the six checks in question, and that the bank had called her home and talked to her father.

When Harry asked Whitney how Cox knew the checks were stolen, Whitney said that she told him. Both had reservations about cashing the checks, she said, but did so anyway as a means to get money for drugs.

To read the entire story, see the March 28 edition of The Central Virginian.