A 47-year-old Marietta woman who pleaded guilty last month to embezzling more than $5,000 she solicited on the internet to pay for a murder victim’s funeral was back in Carter County District Court Wednesday afternoon.
Robin Faulkenberry, appeared with her attorney, James Gilmartin, in front of District Judge Dennis Morris for sentencing. The judge had accepted her blind plea March 1. At the time she also gave the district attorney’s office a cashier’s check for the funds she had diverted for her own use.
During Wednesday’s hearing District Attorney Craig Ladd presented evidence Faulkenberry had used the money she had solicited through a “Go Fund Me” account for the funeral of murder victim Stormy Lusk, to buy liquor, cigarettes and pay her bar/club tabs. Det. Matt Dunn, Ardmore Police Department Criminal Investigation Division, testified concerning the official probe into the missing money.
Lusk’s mother also took the stand reading aloud a letter she had written to Faulkenberry. She talked about the pain of losing a child, describing it as “something I deal with everyday.” She called Faulkenberry a “fraud” and chastised her for her attempt to conceal the theft by “trying to throw your whole family under the bus.”
However, Morris did not hand down a sentence Wednesday. Instead he ordered the woman remanded to the custody of the sheriff and continued the hearing until May 3.
She faces up to 5 years in prison and/or up to $5,000 in fines.
Ladd said after Faulkenberry’s appearance last month, the payment of restitution will reimburse the state’s Victim’s Compensation Fund, which paid the funeral costs when it was discovered Faulkenberry had used the money for her own purposes.
“The State of Oklahoma and the taxpayers are being paid back,” Ladd said.