published Friday, March 15th, 2013

Three charged in will forgery in Grundy County

James E. Campbell II
James E. Campbell II
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Kelly Foutch made a bid in 2010 to be mayor of Grundy County, Tenn.

On Wednesday, the 46-year-old Monteagle resident was cited for resisting arrest by the sheriff's office as deputies took him into custody for being part of a trio accused of conspiring to forge a man's will.

"Once we get in court, this will all go away," Foutch predicted Thursday. "The truth will set you free, every time."

Foutch will appear in Grundy County Superior Court on March 22 to answer to charges of criminal conspiracy to commit theft in excess of $250,000 along with Labreeska Meeks, 34, of Gruetli-Laager, Tenn., and James E. Campbell II, 47, of Tracy City, Tenn. Campbell also faces forgery charges.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation in January started investigating a claim that the younger Campbell signed a forged copy of the will of his father, James E. Campbell Sr., with Foutch and Meeks as witnesses.

The "significant other" of the late James E. Campbell Sr. contested the will, the TBI stated in a news release.

On Monday, a Grundy County grand jury heard the TBI's case and handed down indictments against the trio.

Foutch said, "This is a short-term girlfriend basically trying to steal the family estate."

He said he was a lifelong friend of the late man, and "I witnessed Mr. Campbell sign the will."

Twelfth Judicial District Attorney General J. Michael Taylor, whose office will prosecute, said, "I'm not allowed to comment on the evidence."

Taylor added, "The grand jury did choose to indict."

Foutch, who has been a critic of Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers, said the charge and arrest were "definitely done by the sheriff for a personal reason."

Myers said he hadn't even heard of the case until the indictments were made.

"The TBI investigated the case. It had absolutely nothing to do with us," Myers said.

about Tim Omarzu...

Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.

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