By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater caretaker accused of stealing a woman’s diamond and ruby wedding ring on the day before her death and pawning it for $550 has been ordered to appear in court this week for arraignment on a two-count charge.
Deanna Gay Lawson, 56, “admitted she took the ring because she needed money,” Payne County Sheriff’s Deputy Bobby Miller alleged in an affidavit.
Lawson was arrested this week and released on $2,500 bond, a jail spokesman said.
If convicted of caretaker exploitation and knowingly concealing the stolen ring, Lawson could be incarcerated for 10 and one-half years, court records show.
The victim’s daughter said her mother became terminally ill and the family took turns staying with her until she died on Aug. 6, the affidavit said.
“She advised that they went to secure her valuables and noticed her wedding ring gone from the jewelry box,” that a granddaughter knew was there on Aug. 2, the affidavit said.
The victim’s daughter said, “Lawson is the only person who stayed with her mother who is not related. Lawson stayed with other family members on Aug. 2. She stayed again on Aug. 5, but was by herself with the deceased,” the affidavit alleged.
“Using an app on my computer, I looked Deanna Lawson up for any pawns. I observed that she pawned a ring at EZ Pawn on Aug. 5. The description of the ring on the pawn ticket described a gold lady’s ring with a diamond and two red stones,” the deputy wrote in his affidavit.
When the deputy saw the ring at the pawn shop, “It was identical as the ring described and shown to me in photos. Ms. Lawson signed the pawn declaration that she owned the ring for 14 months. I placed a 30-day hold on the ring and took a photo of it,” Miller wrote in his affidavit.
“Ms. Lawson pawned the ring and received $550. Ms.Lawson admitted stealing the ring and lied on the declaration by stating she owned the ring 14 months,” the affidavit alleged.