Former HMS bookkeeper indicted on embezzlement charges
HELENA- A former Helena Middle School employee was recently indicted by a grand jury on charges of theft in the first degree during its February session.
The indictment of Tyee Marks Eason, 47, who lists an address on West Grande View Terrace in Alabaster, accused her of misusing her position as the HMS bookkeeper to “knowingly obtain or exert unauthorized control” over $100,014.31 in funds belonging to HMS and the Shelby County Board of Education between February 2015 through December 2016.
Eason was first arrested by the Helena Police Department on June 1, 2017, and booked into the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $30,000. She was released on the same day as her arrest.
In July 2017, the Shelby County District Attorney’s Office filed a “notice of upward departure,” to pursue a more severe than average sentence if she is convicted.
Prosecutor P. Douglas Smith Jr., who filed the notice, cited several “aggravating factors,” including Eason’s “fiduciary relationship” with the victims and “the high degree of sophistication or planning,” involved in the crime as reasons why the DA is pushing for a heavier sentence.
According to a June 14 statement from the SCBOE, Eason had been the bookkeeper at HMS since the school’s opening in 2008, and had been employed with the school system for 11 years. The statement said the investigation of the crime is ongoing.
Theft of property is a Class B felony, which is punishable by a prison sentence of two to 20 years upon conviction.
After her case was bound over to a grand jury in December, it was assigned to Shelby County Circuit Court Judge William H. Bostick III. Eason is set to appear in court for an arraignment on April 9.