The case against an Athens woman accused of selling a house she didn't own has been dismissed after she agreed to pay the victim $17,680 in restitution, records show.
Laurie Jones McGuire, 44, of 21075 Broadwater Private Drive, was accused in 2017 of selling a home at 433 Rogers St., near Athens State University, to Tommy McLemore and his daughter, Marla McLemore.
The McLemores had agreed on a price of $31,000. Tommy McLemore applied for a bank loan to pay for the home, but the process was taking a while. McGuire said she needed to close the house as soon as possible, so she offered to sell and finance the purchase. The McLemores paid McGuire $10,000 in cash to lock in a 4% interest rate on the mortgage. Tommy McLemore also made $2,600 in other payments.
Later, the McLemores learned the home belonged to Ted Barnett of Barnett Real Estate in Ardmore. He said he was in the process of selling it to McGuire, but he still held the deed and she had yet to pay him. In addition, her contract for the home did not allow her to sell it. By then, the McLemores had gutted the home, renovated it, landscaped the yard and installed a driveway.
Athens Police Investigator Kelly Fussell looked into the matter and sent his findings to the Limestone County District Attorney's Office. The case was presented to a grand jury, and jurors indicted McGuire on a charge of theft by deception. According to the first count of the indictment, McGuire knowingly obtained, or exerted by deception, unauthorized control over more than $2,500 belonging to the McLemores, with intent to deprive them of the money.
McGuire later purchased the home from Barnett for $26,000 cash.
Marla McLemore, of Valhermoso Springs, recently told The News Courier she wanted $30,000 to cover the renovations made by her and her father, who is now deceased.
Circuit Judge Robert Baker dismissed the case against McGuire on Monday after she agreed to make restitution to McLemore in the amount of $17,680.
The case is set for a payment review 9 a.m. Dec. 16 to make sure the victim is paid in full.