Iva M. Collins, d/o/b 7-16-1977, of Branson, was sentenced on Thursday, September 26, 2013, to consecutive prison terms by Taney County Circuit Court Judge Mark Orr. Collins had been found guilty of the class C felony of forgery by a Taney County jury on July 15, 2013. At sentencing on September 26th, Judge Orr sentenced Collins to the maximum sentence of seven (7) years in prison, and revoked Collins’ felony probation. Orr ordered Collins’ previous five (5) year prison sentence for felony possession of controlled substance to be served consecutively to her new seven (7) year sentence.

In the one-day jury trial on July 15th, evidence was presented that Collins had been developed as a suspect in an investigation into stolen checks by Hollister Police Detective Matt Sanders. When questioned by Detective Sanders, Collins denied stealing checks from a Hollister mailbox, but said she knew someone who had been passing the stolen checks. When Detective Sanders confronted Collins about the surveillance video showing her passing the stolen checks to several convenience stores around Taney County, Collins confessed to passing the stolen checks.

“Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the jury to find Collins guilty of the forgery charge,” said Taney County Prosecutor Jeff Merrell. “Had she pleaded guilty to the charge, I’m certain she would have received a concurrent sentence to her probation case. Because her guilt was never in doubt, Collins made a really poor choice going to trial on her case – and the judge handed-down an appropriately stiff sentence.”