Caretaker's bond set, accused of murdering elderly employer


JONES COUNTY, Miss. - A former caretaker is being charged with the murder of her elderly employer. Judy Dearman, 62, of Laurel is charged with first-degree murder and the judge set her bond at $100,000.

According to authorities Dearman was hired in early 2014 as a caretaker for an elderly couple in Jones County. Some months passed and the elderly husband passed away, leaving Dearman to care for the widow.

Officials said on September 1, 2015, Dearman went to a local attorney, presented herself as the victim and created a last will and testament, leaving everything to the caretaker, Dearman’s actual identity, authorities said.

The papers were drawn and Dearman paid for the legal fees using the victim’s checking account, only 36 hours later, the victim passed away.

Dearman immediately took possession of the property, estimated value of $150,000.

Jones County Sheriff Alex Hodge said, "Sometime after her passing the family goes to the property just to check on her property."

Sheriff Hodge added, "It was at that time Miss Dearman identified that everything now belonged to her, and they needed to hit the road."

Dearman was taken into custody and was charged with Felony False Pretense/Fraud and Felony Fraudulent Use of Identity with additional charges pending. Her bond was set on September 22, 2015 at $25,000.

The investigation continued over several months, that included the work of toxicologists and forensic pathologists.

It was determined that the victim died of a Polypharmacy Overdose. Some of the many medications found in the victim’s system were actually prescribed to Dearman.

Those drugs associated with causing respiratory arrest.

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