A woman who conned a Fayetteville man by pretending to be country music star Alison Krauss pleaded not guilty on Monday (April 14) to a parole violation in the case.
Peggy Sue Evers, 53, enter the plea at her arraignment before a magistrate judge at a courtroom in the Washington County Detention Center, officials said.
Not guilty pleas are common at arraignments to allow a case to proceed in the court system. Evers’ next court appearance is set for June 10 in Washington County Circuit Court, officials said.
Evers was booked into the Washington County Detention Center on April 8 on a parole violation and is being held on a $10,000 bond, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website. (She is pictured here in her April 8 booking photo.)
On Jan. 16, Evers pleaded guilty to theft by deception before Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay, receiving eight years probation. She was ordered to pay nearly $73,000 in restitution to the elderly victim and to return his vehicles. Evers also has signed the deed to his house back over to him.
In addition, Evers was ordered to remain on supervised probation while still in Arkansas and when she returned to her home in Albuquerque, N.M.
However, according to an arrest warrant issued in Washington County Circuit Court on March 31, Evers violated the terms of her probation by not returning the victim’s vehicles within 60 days of her guilty plea in January.
Evers originally had possession of four of the victim’s vehicles, said David Bercaw, Washington County deputy prosecuting attorney. Authorities in New Mexico sent photographs of two vehicles still in Evers’ possession in March to officials in Fayetteville, Bercaw said.
Police said Evers convinced a 75-year-old man she was Krauss and got him to sign his $245,000 home over to her in 2013. His bank account also fell by $40,000, according to an arrest warrant affidavit in Washington County Circuit Court.
Fayetteville police began investigating Evers in April 2013 when First Security Bank officials contacted investigators, concerned because their elderly customer Don Fulton withdrew several thousand dollars within a few months, the affidavit states. Fulton’s son told a detective his father had met a woman online who the father believed was Krauss. Fulton had recently married Evers, and the son thought she might be taking financial advantage of him, according to the affidavit.
Fulton later told police he believed Evers was Krauss and that she had changed her name to escape the paparazzi. He also said he signed his home over to Evers so that she could put it in Fulton’s son’s name.
Investigators also found out that Evers had changed Fulton’s will to give her his money in the event of his death, according to the arrest warrant affidavit. Evers gained control of Fulton’s home by alleging meritless battery accusations against Fulton, police said.
Evers was released from jail on bond but then skipped out on a scheduled mental evaluation in September 2013 and was briefly a fugitive, officials said.
She arrested again on Oct. 8, 2013, when she showed up for a scheduled appearance at Washington County Circuit Court for a pre-trial hearing.
To download the March 2014 arrest warrant, click here.
Singer Alison Krauss is set to perform at the Arkansas Music Pavilion in Rogers on July 7 with country star Willie Nelson.