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Bray Doyle School District Embezzlement Arraignment Set

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STEPHENS CO., Okla_ A Stephens County woman accused of stealing nearly $300,000 from a rural school district will stand trial.

Kimberly Brown appeared in a Stephens County Courtroom Thursday for her preliminary hearing. Brown is the former Secretary for the Superintendent of the Bray Doyle school district.

Prosecutors say from 2006 to 2011, she stole the money from a "Christmas" account that employees regularly contributed to. They say she would transfer money from the district's general fund to hide her theft.

The prosecution said it feels it met its burden of proof at the first half of the preliminary hearing back in January. Brown's defense attorney disagreed. He said the state only proved that she took money from the account. He said they did not prove how much money she actually contributed to the account, which they say is vital to proving embezzlement in this case.

The state and the judge disagreed. As Kimberly Brown walked into a Stephens County courtroom with her supporters close by, the prosecution and the defense waited to hear whether or not this case will go to trial.

The prosecution told the judge that they have and will present an abundance of evidence that Brown embezzled the money from the Bray Doyle school district. Her defense attorney argued that she was one of two employees that had the authority to take funds from the account.

"I obviously think he was wrong and think the court agreed with me that me that she did not have the authority to remove any of the funds from the account where she took all these funds from," District Attorney Jason Hicks said.

Hicks said at the preliminary hearing back in January, both the former and current Bray Doyle superintendents gave testimony supporting that. He said he hopes Brown's trial sends a message to other would-be embezzlers.

"I would certainly hope that anybody that would consider stealing money from any employer, much less from a school, would take into consideration the fact that we've charged as many counts as we could," Hicks said. "We are going forward with this and pursue this particular individual because the theft of $300,000 out of one school system to me is abhorrent."

He said unfortunately, the innocent children at the Bray Doyle School paid the price for Brown's alleged actions.

"I've got kids of my own," Hicks said, "And in a small school system, $300,000 is a lot. Those children are being punished for something they didn't do."

The judge also decreased Brown's 17 counts of embezzlement to 14. She is scheduled to appear in court on the 14th for her arraignment.

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