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February 8, 2017

VERNON CHRISTIAN, dob: 5/11/1938 of Kirbyville, Missouri was found guilty yesterday after a two day jury trial of the class C felony of forgery. A jury deliberated a little less than an hour before returning the guilty verdict.

In November of 2007, a property owner in Kirbyville called the Taney County Collector after he did not receive his tax bill for that year. From there, he learned that he no longer owned the property and it had been deeded to the defendant, Vernon Christian. An investigation by the Sheriff’s Office uncovered that Christian had forged the signature of the property owner and recorded the fraudulent deed in November of 2006. A handwriting analysis was done on the document and “all indications pointed towards Mr. Christian” being the signer of the fraudulent document.

A jury had previously found Christian guilty of the same offense in November 2010 and he had been sentenced to six (6) years in the Department of Corrections. The case was reversed and remanded in September 2016 to the Taney County Circuit Court following an appeal.

Formal sentencing is set for April 18, 2017 at 9:00am in front of Taney County Circuit Court Judge Tony W. Williams. Forgery is a class C felony – a class C felony committed before January 1, 2017 carries a range of punishment of one (1) day to one (1) year in the Taney County Jail or two (2) years to seven (7) years in the Missouri Department of Corrections and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.

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