Forgery alleged in squabble over family farm on North Whidbey
By JESSIE STENSLAND
Whidbey News Times Assistant editor
September 21, 2010 · Updated 2:52 PM
A 49-year-old Oak Harbor woman is accused of forging a legal document to falsely claim that her deceased mother had bequeathed the family farm to her, and not to her siblings, court documents state.
Prosecutors charged Shannan Marrs in Island County Superior Court Sept. 9 with first-degree perjury and forgery. If convicted of the charges, she could face more than a year in prison under the standard sentencing range.
Marrs’ ex-husband reported the alleged document forgery to law enforcement early this year, although the actual crime occurred in 2008, according to a report by Deputy Rick Felici with the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
The report states that Marrs had been involved in a heated legal dispute with her family over her mother’s will. After the mother died, Marrs produced a quit claim deed, allegedly signed by her mother and then notarized, that left the farm on Arnold Road to Marrs, the police report states.
Marrs later filed the quit claim deed in Island County Superior Court.
But the legal dispute continued. Jessie Valentine, an Oak Harbor attorney, had the document examined by two independent forensic document examiners, both of whom concluded that the document was a fake, Felici wrote.
In addition, an employee at Marrs’ graphics business witnessed Marrs creating the document on graphic design equipment, court documents state. In fact, the woman said Marrs threaten to fire her if she didn’t help forge the dead woman’s signature, Felici wrote.Contact Whidbey News Times Assistant editor Jessie Stensland at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360.675.6611 ext. 5056.