Family reacts after emotional embezzlement trial comes to an end

CARTER COUNTY, Okla. (KXII)-- Wednesday morning an Ardmore woman was sentenced, after nearly half a year has passed since she was charged with stealing thousands from a GoFund Me account, intended for the family of a murder victim.

In June of 2015, 20-year-old Stormy Lusk was shot and killed in her home. The suspect, Aaron Everett Park, committed suicide in jail two days after his arrest.

But things didn't end for the Lusk family there.

"To have someone take advantage of me at my weakest moment...I can't explain the emotions." Stormy's mother, Shera Tanner, said.

Robin Faulkenberry reached out to the family and started a GoFund Me account for Stormy's funeral, but later pleaded guilty to stealing that money: over $5,000 from over 90 donors.

"I've been doing this for over 20 years, but I've never had an embezzlement in a case like this," Carter County District Attorney Craig Ladd said. "where somebody tried to use the murder of a girl to raise money, and then use that money on things other than what they were going to use it for."

Wednesday, Faulkenberry was sentenced to two years in prison and three years probation.

A sentence the defense is calling too harsh, as they argue the money was paid "upfront."

"The case did drag on for a little while, but when I mean upfront, the money was paid prior to her plea, or at her plea, and so that check was written and those victims, at the time of her plea, were made whole, and that money was returned." Defense attorney James Gilmartin said.

But Ladd says in this instance, the punishment fits the crime.

"She needs to be held accountable for dragging us through this for a year and a half, and so that's why I think the sentence was appropriate." Ladd said.

And the Lusk family agrees.

"This is closure in this horrible chapter that we're going through." Tanner said.



 
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