A woman pleaded not guilty Monday to charges that she stole and deposited checks from a deceased 97-year-old woman.
Christa Nelson, 21, allegedly saw the fire department respond to the woman’s home Oct. 28, and took the checks from the unlocked house the next day.
She is charged with residential burglary, unlawful possession of payment instruments, three counts of second-degree identity theft and three counts of forgery.
An attorney for Nelson could not be reached Tuesday evening.
According to court documents:
The woman’s daughter recently reported that several fraudulent checks were written on her deceased mother’s account.
The checks were endorsed with her mother’s name, but the signatures on each looked different and the “pay to” line was blank.
A deputy contacted Nelson Nov. 21 when she tried to negotiate a check written on the deceased woman’s account at a Spanaway bank.
Nelson said she got the check from the woman after selling a television online.
She later said she saw medics at the woman’s house and knew that she was elderly.
She told authorities she deposited a check for $200 and two checks for $160 into her account.
Nelson gave a handwritten statement that she stole the checks from the woman’s house and had her mother deposit them into her checking account and get the money.
A deputy found an additional check in Nelson’s purse.
The court set Nelson’s bail at $3,000, which she posted today.