Man Allegedly Steals Check from Mailbox

January 5, 2014
by: 
Dwayne Page
Samuel Malachi Murphy
Lorain Ruth Caldwell
 Jesse Rita Leaf
Antonio Hernandez Gomez

A Smithville man is in trouble with the law after allegedly stealing a personal check from a mailbox, forging his own name on the check, and then depositing it into his bank account.

37 year old Samuel Malachi Murphy of Cookeville Highway, Smithville is charged with forgery and theft of property over $500. His bond is $10,000 and he will be in court December 19.

Sheriff Patrick Ray said that on November 24, Murphy allegedly stole a personal check from the victim's mailbox on Highway 56 south, changed the name on the check to his own name, and then went to Regions Bank in Smithville and deposited the check for $733 into his own account. The next day he withdrew the money from the account.

57 year old Lorain Ruth Caldwell of Spencer is charged with driving under the influence and driving on a suspended license. Her bond is $3,000.

Sheriff Ray said that on Monday, December 9 someone called in a report of a reckless driver on Highway 56. An officer responded and spotted Caldwell's vehicle swerving in the roadway on Highway 56. He stopped the automobile and spoke with Caldwell. Her speech was slurred and she was unsteady on her feet. She also had problems holding up her head. Caldwell admitted to the officer that she had taken several prescribed medications. She submitted to but performed poorly on all field sobriety tasks. Caldwell also submitted to a blood test. Caldwell produced an ID only license. A computer check revealed that her license were suspended in North Carolina for failure to satisfy a citation. Caldwell was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

32 year old Jesse Rita Leaf of Meridan Drive, Smithville is charged with domestic assault. Her bond is $2,500 and she will be in court December 19.

Sheriff Ray said that on December 12 Leaf allegedly assaulted her sister by cursing her and punching her several times in the face and head with her fist, causing bruising to her sister's face and a swollen lip. The victim had injuries to her thumb and pinky finger from blocking punches. Leaf was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

58 year old Antonio Hernandez Gomez of Gordonsville is charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. His bond is $4,000 and he will be in court January 9.

Sheriff Ray said that on Saturday, December 14 Gomez was operating a motor vehicle on Highway 56 when he was stopped by an officer at Locke's Market in Warren County after being involved in a crash at Mystic Market in DeKalb County, where he hit and caused damage to a road sign and utility pole and then left the scene. Gomez had an odor of an alcoholic beverage on his person and he was very unsteady on his feet. Gomez was so intoxicated he needed assistance getting to the patrol car. He refused to submit to field sobriety tasks and a blood test. Gomez had an open 12 ounce can of beer and four empty cans of beer inside the vehicle. He was arrested and brought to the jail for booking.

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