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Forged check writer sentenced to 18 years

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James Shumake James Shumake

ELLIS COUNTY –  A 64-year-old Cedar Hill man was found guilty of forgery by an Ellis County jury Tuesday, June 28.

James Shumake was found guilty for passing a forged check at the Vintage Bank in Glenn Heights April 21, 2009.

After deliberation, the jury assessed the punishment at 18 years in prison, where Shumake was then sentenced to confinement in the Texas prison system by 40th District Court Judge Bob Carroll.

Punishment for forgery is 180 days and up to two years in state jail. Since two sequential felony convictions with prison sentences were proven during the punishment phase of the trial, the range of punishment was enhanced from two to 20 years in Texas prison according to a statement released by the county.

Kelly Lightle Tyler, a former bank teller with Vintage Bank in Glenn Heights, testified Shumake came into the bank and presented  her the forged check with his name and address printed on it, along with his Texas Identification Card, and wanted to cash the check.  

Tyler was alerted to some discrepancies on the check and contacted the owner of the business to verify the check.  During the trial, the business owner testified she did not authorize the check to Shumake.  

After discovering this information, Tyler notified another Vintage Bank employee to call the police.  Shumake then told Tyler  he had to go to his car and left the bank, leaving behind the forged check and his Texas ID Card.

The Ellis County and District Attorney’s Office thanks the Glenn Heights Police Department and employees at the Vintage Bank for their assistance in this case. 

“We want to thank the jury in this case for their hard work and attention in arriving at a fair verdict of guilty and for an appropriate punishment for this defendant,” stated Assistant County and District Attorneys Amy Nguyen and Don Maxfield, prosecutors on the case. 

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Nelson Propane

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