Funeral home theft nets suspended term

By Tom Joyce -


WINSTON-SALEM — A Pinnacle woman has received a suspended sentence after pleading guilty to lesser felony charges stemming from the theft of more than $275,000 from a funeral home.

Based on information received Thursday, Teresa Ashley Marion, 57, of 1807 Shoals Road, was sentenced late last week to six to 17 months in prison, which is to be suspended pending her successful completion of a 24-month period of supervised probation.

A Forsyth County court spokesperson said Thursday that restitution has been made in the case for money taken.

Marion had been arrested on Sept. 30 after investigators with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of embezzlement at Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home at 305 Bethania-Rural Hall Road in Rural Hall where Marion was the office manager.

The total sum involved was $278,666.51, according to information released after the arrest by Maj. Danny Carter of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. “They believe it was going on for a while,” Carter has said regarding the scope of the wrongdoing as assessed by funeral home officials, which included accessing computers to defraud or obtain property.

Marion, who was released under a $50,000 secured bond after her arrest, came before a judge in Forsyth District Court on Feb. 16 charged with two felonies, felonious accessing of computers and larceny by employee of more than $100,000.

However, the Pinnacle woman was allowed to plead guilty to the lesser offenses of attempted access of computers and larceny by employee with no dollar figure included.

Those offenses, which also are felonies, were consolidated for sentencing purposes, with Marion receiving the 6-to-17-month suspended term and being put on supervised probation for 24 months. If she fails to satisfactorily complete the conditions of that probation, Marion will be subject to serving active time of up to 17 months, the court spokesperson added.

Marion was assessed court costs in the case, but no fine was imposed. Court records further show that she is to have no contact with Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home, which is based in Winston-Salem and also has the facility in Rural Hall.

Scott Morris, the manager of the Rural Hall location, has declined to comment on the case, but indicated last fall after Marion was charged that she no longer was employed by the funeral home.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.


By Tom Joyce

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