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September 11, 2013

Former Rockingham Co. jail worker indicted on theft charges

BRENTWOOD — The former Rockingham County jail office administrator has been charged with padding her husband's paychecks. He was a correctional officer at the jail.

Anne Marie Nelson, 52, of Chester faces two theft charges for misappropriating at least $12,000 in county money, according to Rockingham County Attorney James Reams. Reams announced her indictment this morning.

Nelson and her husband, Keith Nelson, remain under investigation and more charges could be filed, Reams said.

Sheriff Michael Downing said his office began investigating the matter last spring when it was first determined money was missing.

Nelson, a 12-year employee, has not been arrested, Downing said. She faces seven and half to 15 years in prison and a $4,000 fine for each felony theft charge.

Keith Nelson was employed as a correctional officer for 15 years, Downing said. Neither is still employed by the county.

Jail Superintendent Stephen Church was unavailable this afternoon for comment.

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