Grand Jury Indicts Lubbock Teacher for Felony Theft - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/9/06

Grand Jury Indicts Lubbock Teacher for Felony Theft

A former Dunbar Middle School teacher could be facing jail-time after allegedly stealing from her students.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a grand jury indicted 28-year-old KaRee Copeland for felony theft by a public servant over $20,000. That money was supposed to pay for a spring break trip to New York City for 51 students.

The District Attorney Criminal Assistant Trey Hill told us investigators found checks and other paper trails that led them to $20,400. Investigators believe she used that money for a car payment on her SUV, shopping at Dillards, and deposits, in one case $7,300 to her personal account. She also is accused of using the fundraising money to put a down payment on a mustang for her finance.

That led police to Terrance King who was driving the car. The grand jury also indicted him on felony theft charges.

You'll recall from our story back in February, Copeland was spear-heading a fundraising project. Sources tell us she sold candy, held raffles and asked for donations, because they needed to raise $82,000 for a trip to New York for 51 students. She raised nearly $75,000.

Copeland resigned in February shortly after the principal received a phone call from the company asking for payment. It was later discovered the money was gone and the trip was cancelled. It was not a school-sponsored trip.

NewsChannel 11 found information about Copeland on the Texas Tech University website. She was a Texas Tech grad and a scholar who had dreams "to build a school to serve students with unique needs in her hometown of Alamagordo, New Mexico of minority and military families. The school she envisions will be a place where ambitious teachers are paid well and the students are challenged to take responsibility for their education."

Copeland faces a 2nd degree felony, 2-20 years in jail and a $10,000 fine. Her accomplice, King, faces a 3rd degree felony, 2-10 years in jail and a $10,000 fine if convicted.

Copeland declined to comment when reached by phone.

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