Former sheriff back in court for day two
Former Unicoi County sheriff Kent Harris' trial continued on Wednesday.
Lyn Colbaugh took the stand today and told jurors that she was power over attorney for her aunt, who is in a nursing home.
Colbaugh says she and her husband cared over her aunt's house and belongings, including two of her cars. "A couple of people came to us and asked us if we were interested in selling the cars," said Colbaugh.
She claims Kent Harris, who she says was like a son to her, told her not to sell. "’No, don't sell those cars,’ he said. I said, 'why not?' and he said it would be the best security with my aunt in the nursing home," said Colbaugh.
She tells the jury she and her husband took Harris' advice, but says he made his own request for them. “Then just a few months later, he asked if we would donate them," said Colbaugh.
Colbaugh then claims she agreed to donate them to the sheriff's department, saying her aunt and deceased uncle would be happy knowing that is where they went. \
She proceeded to make the donation and said she went to the bank to take out the two titles.
Colbaugh then said she went to meet Harris to give him the titles and he gave her a check for $4,500.
"[I asked,] 'what are these for? We are donating the cars.' There's no money involved, I said this is the county's money," Colbaugh recalled.
Colbaugh says he assured her it was correct. "’[He said,] 'Lyn I know it's a donation, but whenever we have donations like this, I have to put a value on the item and then transfer the funds from one account to the other,’" said Colbaugh.
The defense asked her why she would cash a check that was made out to her if the items were donated. "When he said that, did it not raise any red flags immediately?” said Stacy Street.
“No sir, it did not because I trusted him," said Colbaugh on the stand.
Colbaugh claims she took the money and never heard anything else about where it was going. "I thought he was transferring it from one account to the other, because that is what he told me he'd always done," said Colbaugh.
The trial started on Tuesday and is expected to last up to four days.
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