A woman accused of shoplifting at a pair of Nashville malls now faces more serious charges for allegedly faking her death.
Sarah Caldwell Moran Moretti has a lot of names. In fact, she has at least three different names in the criminal system, but it was the name on her death certificate that got everyone's attention.
Moretti had been caught shoplifting at the Green Hills Macy's in 2011, but those charges were dismissed when a death certificate said she died by drug overdose in Glasgow, KY, in May 2011.
So, you can imagine the surprise when Moretti showed up to court last week alive to face new shoplifting charges after another alleged incident at Dillard's in Rivergate.
Before the judge could even figure out whether he could legally bring Moretti back to life to face more charges, she cut herself with a pen clip and was taken from court bleeding.
In court on Friday, her lawyer made his first statement.
"It is unusual. It's a sensational story. But this is a mother and a wife, and, more importantly, she's a human being and deserves as much respect as anybody," said attorney Kevin Kelly, of Eastside Legal.
Moretti now has new charges, and these are even more serious. She is charged with false impression of death, forgery and felony fabricating evidence.
Somehow, prosecutors say, Moretti was able to obtain a real death certificate, forge it and turn it into the Kentucky Health Department.
Authorities do not know how she obtained an authentic officially numbered death certificate. But she was allegedly able to pull it off, and it wasn't her only master deception.
Her husband did not know she was arrested for shoplifting. He also had no idea she had faked her death. He knew nothing of any of this, her lawyer says.
"Obviously that was a difficult call to make. But he and I have been in contact quite a bit over the last few days, and he is in very strong support of her," Kelly said.
More charges are anticipated in the case, as Moretti finds her criminal life has become much more complicated.
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