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W.Va. woman accused of using ex-husband's identity to get electrical service

Rebecca Jean Ferguson is also facing 11 felony counts of child abuse causing bodily injury

December 16, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthew.umstead@herald-mail.com

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — A West Virginia woman accused of beating her children and taking the identity of her oldest child for financial gain also is accused of using her ex-husband's identity to obtain electrical service, according to court records.

Rebecca Jean Ferguson, 40, of 10245 Williamsport Pike, Falling Waters, was arraigned Thursday on one felony count of taking the identity of another person by Berkeley County Magistrate Sandra L. Miller, the court records said.

An audio recording that Potomac Edison emailed to West Virginia State Police Cpl. J.M. Walker on Monday allegedly documents Ferguson's use of her ex-husband's name, Social Security number and date of birth to transfer service to 33 Grubb Landing in Inwood, W.Va., where she once lived, the records said.

The defendant's ex-husband reported the identity theft in October 2011, telling police his divorce was finalized and  he had never resided at the Grubb Landing residence, the documents said.

Upon being questioned by police, Ferguson also indicated her ex-husband did not live at the residence in question, but couldn't recall whether she used his Social Security number to initiate electric service there, the documents said.

The identity theft charge filed against Ferguson is in addition to eight other felony counts of taking the identity of another person pending in Berkeley County Circuit Court against the former Spring Mills Middle School language arts school teacher.

The older identity theft charges are contained within a 19-count indictment, which also includes 11 felony counts of child abuse causing bodily injury, the documents said.

Ferguson is accused of opening multiple credit-card accounts in her oldest daughter's name and striking her children multiple times using a broom, metal baton and other objects, according to the indictment.

Ferguson's trial in circuit court is scheduled to begin in April, records said.

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