Update: Coroner Tuten back in jail following indictments

By: Staff
By: Staff
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Grover Tuten (WRDW-TV)

Grover Tuten (WRDW-TV)

Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's one of the most difficult things Elliott Hankinson's ever had to do.

"Well, my brother passed away," said Hankinson.

But burying his brother Arthur, led him to Coroner Grover Tuten with the Richmond County Coroners Office.

"I thought everything was going on alright you know, I didn't ever know what was going on," Hankinson said.

He said a simple request for his brother's death certificate, ended up costing him more than $1,500.

"He told me he had it there in the office, and he could not release it until he get $1,500," he said.

Hankinson said he signed a check and gave it to Tuten.

"That's what he told me. He got to pay that to Richmond County," he said.

He also said the coroner told him Tuten had to pay Charlie Reid Funeral Home to bury his brother.

"[Tuten] said don't worry about Charlie Reid, just bring me the $1,500 and I'll take care of everything," he said.

Months passed, then years and soon came a knock on Hankinson's door from the FBI, explaining the arrest and 13 charges against the coroner.

The two charges that involve him though, theft by taking when Tuten took the $1,500 check. As well as violation of Tutens oath of office by not turning in the burial fees to the county.

"He said, I might get some of my money back, because that's too much," he said.

It's left Elliott Hankinson wanting to know how so many are affected.

"He had a lot of charges against him," said Hankinson.

Original report

RICHMOND CO., Ga. (WRDW) -- Former Richmond County Coroner Grover Tuten was arrested Wednesday after a Grand Jury issued 13 felony indictments.

Tuten was indicted on 8 theft by taking and 5 violation of oath by a public officer charges.

According to the search warrant filed by the FBI, a confidential informant led investigators to Tuten. During their investigation, the FBI said they uncovered evidence linking him to misappropriating county funds.

The warrant also said Tuten was receiving county payments into a bank account that he used for personal purchases.

Here's a summary of each charge:

Count 1: Theft by taking

The grandy jury said Tuten stole Walter Thurston's 2004 Nissan Altima after Thurston died in April 2011.

Count 2: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole Richard Krajacic's 1998 Ford F150 in August 2011.

Count 3: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole money from Billy Joe Fletcher in September 2010.

Count 4: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole Renard Williams' 1992 Chevrolet Lumina in March 2006.

Count 5: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole money from Bill Luckie in April 2013.

Count 6: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole money from Shane R. Hobbs in November 2012.

Count 7: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole money from Elliott Hankinson, Jr. in February 2011.

Count 8: Theft by taking

The grand jury said Tuten stole money from Myrna Todd in February 2010.

Count 9: Violation of oath by a public officer

The grand jury said Tuten unlawfully failed to turn in the burial fees of Shane R. Hobbs.

Count 10: Violation of oath by a public officer

The grand jury said Tuten unlawfully failed to turn in the burial fees of Richard Krajacic.

Count 11: Violation of oath by a public officer

The grand jury said Tuten unlawfully used Billy Joe Fletcher's money for personal financial gain.

Count 12: Violation of oath by a public officer

The grand jury said Tuten unlawfully failed to turn in the burial fees of Myra Todd and Arthur Hankinson.

Count 13: Violation of oath by a public officer

The grand jury said Tuten unlawfully sold Renard Williams' property for personal financial gain.


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