Karmen Ann Barber, the daughter of Clyde Henry Puckett, was sentenced to five years of probation, the first sixth months of which will be intensively supervised. Puckett is charged with murder in the death of his daughter's husband.
Barber must also pay a $5,000 fine, as well as restitution in the amount of $14,500. An additional restitution amount will be determined at a restitution hearing on Dec. 10.
As the factual basis for the charges, Assistant District Attorney Anne Allen said Barber had taken insurance out on the building of her automotive repair shop, Auto Group Inc., without making it known that the shop had actually burned down the night before.
As for the chop shop charge, Barber is accused of installing a stolen motor into a 2004 Ford Explorer for a customer, as well as reassembling a Pontiac Fiero into a kit car that was supposed to be street-legal, but was actually unable to be driven lawfully on Georgia streets.
Barber is also alleged to have forged a co-worker's signature on Department of Family and Children Services paperwork to get food stamps, but Allen said the state is not pursuing a welfare fraud charge in consideration of her guilty plea.
The woman pleaded under what is commonly called an "Alford plea," in which a defendant pleads guilty but maintains his or her innocence. Most Alford pleas are made by defendants who find that the risk of going to trial are too great, and would rather plead guilty and avoid the risk of a jury conviction.
Barber's legal counsel, Carrollton attorney Gary Bunch, told Judge John Simpson that Barber couldn't risk facing jail time because of her two children. Bunch also told the judge why he requested Barber's curfew to be extended in case she has to take her daughters, ages 12 and 17, to family, church or school activities.
"Ms. Barber's husband was murdered, and her father is in jail for her husband's murder," Bunch said. "There's no one else who could take her children to various activities they have to go to, so we're asking that her curfew can be deviated from."
The judge approved the request.
All totaled, Barber was charged with insurance fraud, theft by taking, operating a chop shop, theft by deception and forgery.
Puckett, 68, was also charged with making fraudulent insurance claims, but that charge will be handled at the same time as his murder case, which is scheduled to go to trial in November.
In his murder case, Puckett is charged with shooting and killing Michael Shane Barber, 40, in his home last fall. He was arraigned Feb. 1 for felony murder, malice murder and aggravated assault. He will be represented by public defender Shikera Turner.
Also in court Friday, a Carrollton man was sentenced to six years in jail for robbery.
In January, Donald Frederick Powell was accused of attacking a 78-year-old man in his driveway, pushing him down and taking his wallet.
Assistant District Attorney John Cunningham said a witness was asked to drive the defendant to a local motel that was a short distance away, which the witness found odd. The witness complied and called authorities after dropping Powell off.
Powell was on probation from a 2001 robbery in Carroll County, which explains the high sentence.