Allegedly forged divorce filed, then granted; 3 people arrested
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Imagine going to a courthouse only to confirm your worst fears.
Those divorce papers that, until recently discovered, you knew nothing about really have been filed.
Caddo sheriff's investigators say that's what's happened to one woman.
She had no idea a court had declared her and her husband as divorced, they said.
Now the woman's husband, his girlfriend and the girlfriend's daughter face charges.
Demario Donta Clark, 27, of Shreveport, is accused of filing the paperwork with the Caddo clerk of court's office after 50-year-old Lisa McKinney, of Shreveport, reportedly forged his wife's name.
Clark was booked into Caddo Correctional Center at 4:51 p.m. Tuesday on a charge of filing false public records.
McKinney was booked at 12:47 p.m. Wednesday on one count each of forgery and being an in-state fugitive.
"Basically, it's kind of vice-versa. They're saying each one of them wanted to kind of be with each other," sheriff's Detective Mike King said of Clark's and McKinney's motives.
On Thursday evening, deputies made a third arrest.
Just like her mother, 26-year-old Stanneisha Shelby McKinney was arrested on a felony charge of forgery. The Shreveport woman was booked into Caddo Correctional at 6:14 p.m. Thursday.
"We were able to identify her and make contact with her today and she was very forthcoming in her involvement," King said.
All three remain in the parish lockup, with bond set at $5,000 for Clark and $2,500 for Lisa McKinney.
No bond had been set for Stanneisha Shelby McKinney.
The bizarre situation came to light when Clark's wife discovered documents earlier this month showing that divorce paperwork between her and her husband had been filed and that the divorce had been granted Aug. 1, according to a statement King released.
As for the notary listed as approving the paperwork, King said the state suspended her notary license long before those divorce papers were filed - for most, if not all, of 2018.
She has not been charged in the case and no other arrests are expected at this time, the detective said.
As for Clark's wife, King concedes that many spouses might just walk away from such a situation.
But not her.
"She plans on, you know, doing what she has to do to get things corrected."
Divorce attorney Emily Merckle, whose law firm handles about 20 divorce cases a month, said they see all kinds of situations.
But it's not often that you hear about a case such as this.
"To have something forged, and the forgery then notarized and filed with the court is extremely rare."
And Merckle offers one piece of advice for anyone contemplating or going through a divorce.
"Honestly, contact a lawyer. It's absolutely the best thing you could do.
"Some people try to do it themselves, and it's come back to haunt them.
"And I just cannot stress how important it is to contact an attorney and at least know your rights."
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