Trial date set for Ashford teacher accused of stealing more than $3K

Laura Morgan “Laurie” McWaters

A Houston County judge has set a jury trial date for a school worker charged after the theft of student government association funds.

Circuit Judge Butch Binford has set Laura Morgan “Laurie” McWaters’ jury trial for Sept. 28.

McWaters was arrested April 13, 2018, by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and charged with first-degree theft of property, a Class B felony that carries a penalty of two to 20 years in prison.

Sheriff’s Office investigators say that during a 2018 routine state audit, the Houston County Schools Board learned that $6,126 was used from the Ashford High School’s student government account. During the time funds went missing, McWaters was the the SGA sponsor, and its account was set up under her personal bank account for undetermined reasons.

The audit suggested that nearly $500 was spent on items that included clothing, beauty and hygiene products, pet food, DVDs, children’s games and alcoholic beverages. More than $2,000 came from checks written to McWaters or her bank for cash, and $500 in cash was withdrawn from an ATM, investigators said.

McWaters was indicted by a grand jury in September 2018. She has pleaded not guilty, and she disputes the claim filed against her.

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