The owner of an Ozark lab test collection company is out on bond after being charged with two forgery counts, but Dale County’s district attorney said the investigation may uncover numerous incidents of falsified drug screening reports provided to the county’s Department of Human Resources.
Brandy Murrah, 36, of Clopton, was booked on the two misdemeanor forgery counts in Ozark this weekend. She is currently out on bond totaling $2,000.
Murrah owns A&J Lab Collections. Her company provided drug screen reports and paternity test results to the Dale County Department of Human Resources.
Dale County District Attorney Kirke Adams said the investigation is ongoing and could mean that parents were denied custody of their children in Dale County due to drug screen results that were falsified.
“We have no idea at this time how many people did not get their children back because of Ms. Murrah’s alleged fraudulent reports,” Adams said. “I am furious and offended by these alleged crimes. I don’t understand how someone could be so callous and evil, to have no regard for the consequences of their actions. In my opinion, all cases affected by Murrah’s alleged actions must be redone in order to be fair.”
Attempts by the Dothan Eagle to contact the director of the Dale County DHR Stephanie McKnight, were unsuccessful.
Murrah also appears to have a prior criminal record. According to Adams, Murrah (then known as Brandy Renee Williams) has five previous convictions for fraudulent use of a credit/debit card. Houston County court records show Williams pleaded guilty to the counts in 2013 for the incidents occurring in 2012. She was sentenced to three years probation.
Ozark Police Chief Marlos Walker said authorities have been working on the forgery case since May 2 when they received an allegation that drug test screenings and paternity tests were altered and/or forged by the Ozark business, which does testing for Dale County DHR.
Adams said the investigation began when a Pike County resident raised concerns about a positive screen result.
“From my understanding one individual contacted the doctor who signed the paperwork stating his/her drug test was positive,” Adams said.
According to Adams, the doctor told the resident she was not familiar with a signed test result for that screen related to A&J Lab Collections. Adams said the doctor told the resident she had not signed any documents for Murrah since January of 2019.
There is currently no indication of how many test results may be in question. Authorities are currently going through dozens of screens per month handled by the lab.
According to Adams, it appears the drug testing performed by Murrah was through the Dale County Department of Human Resources Dependency Court involving child custody.
Defense Attorney David Harrison said Murrah deserves due process
“My client is innocent until proven guilty,” Harrison said. “My client never changed any results of any drug tests, DNA tests or paternity tests. We look forward to seeing the evidence and responding to the evidence in court.”
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office, Dale County District Attorney’s Office, Dale County Department of Human Resources and Dale County court officials are assisting in the investigation.
The Alabama Department of Human Resources provided the following statement upon request from the Dothan Eagle.
“We are currently working with law enforcement on this matter,” said Alabama Department of Human Resources Public Information Officer Berry Spear. “However, we have no comments on an open investigation.”