A forged attempt at freedom

Staff Written News

By Patrick Yost

Editor 

A Greene County woman has been arrested and charged with felony forgery after she allegedly attempted to forge court documents in an attempt to shorten her boyfriend’s jail time.

According to Lt. Brandon Sellers, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Division, Kelly Cummings, 35, was arrested on Monday after  Georgia State Patrol trooper executed a traffic stop on Cummings’ vehicle on Interstate 20 in Morgan County.

Sellers said consequent to the stop, the trooper learned of outstanding arrest warrants against Cummings from Morgan, Putnam and Newton counties and Cummings was detained.

Cummings allegedly attempted to create a sentence modification document using Superior Court Judge Terry Massey’s signature that would have shortened her boyfriend’s time served. Sellers said Jonathan Lopez Ward, 33, Greensboro is currently serving time in Greene County on forgery charges related to false checks. Sellers said Ward “has a long history” of forgery and check charges and would have been extradited to Morgan County to face more charges after his time in Greene County was served.

The false sentence modification sent to Morgan County Superior Court Clerk of Court Jody Higdon would have allowed Ward to be released for time served in Greene County on Morgan County charges, as well.

Sellers said Higdon immediately noticed modifications on the faxed documents. Sellers said the masthead on the document had been changed to “Morgan County Superior Court” but the clerk’s stamp still indicated the document had originated in Greene County. “It was portrayed to have come from Judge Massey’s office,” Sellers said. 

Also, he said, under Judge Massey’s signature the document indicated the sentence modification was in the Greene County Superior Court. 

Sellers said investigators were able to obtain video surveillance from a Mailbox Store in Covington that allegedly shows Cummings faxing the fake sentencing document to the Morgan County Clerk of Court.

Sellers said prosecutors, to successfully prosecute a felony forgery case have to show that a person “altered and uttered” a forged document.

“She’s done both,” he said.

A $10,000 bond has been set for Cummings but as of press time on Tuesday she remained incarcerated at the Morgan County Detention Center.

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