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Forshee denies Giveaway House charges

Sheila Forshee, former secretary-treasurer of the Giveaway House in North Havre, pleaded not guilty Monday in state District Court in Havre to charges including theft by a common scheme.

Forshee was charged with one count of deceptive practices and one count of theft by a common scheme March 9.

She pleaded not guilty Monday to both counts before District Judge Daniel Boucher.

Forshee's attorney, Melody Brown, requested that Forshee be able to travel outside of Hill County without the need to obtain a travel permit beforehand while awaiting future court dates.

Brown said Forshee is a realtor and has listings in various places throughout the state of Montana.

Boucher agreed with Brown's request.

If Forshee desires to travel outside the state of Montana, however, she would need to obtain a travel permit beforehand.

According to court documents, Forshee attempted to sell the Giveaway House, which she had no right to do, and took donations meant for the Giveaway House to sell at Ruth Ann's, a private thrift store she operates.

The court documents go on to say that Forshee was called in by a deputy for questioning Jan. 16. Forshee agreed and arrived with her daughter. After the deputy told her it was unnecessary her daughter be present, Forshee called her mother on her cellphone so she could listen in on the questioning. Her mother did not answer.

The deputy then told Forshee he needed to read her her rights before the questioning. Forshee refused her rights be read. Instead, she continued using her cellphone to try and contact her mother or "someone else."

Forshee said she had no involvement with the Giveaway House and did not understand why she was there. The deputy attempted to read the Miranda Warning to Forshee, but Forshee walked out of the interview room, stating she had nothing to do with the Giveaway House. When it was clear Forshee would not speak to the deputy, the deputy concluded the interview, the court documents say.

The Giveaway House was created in the early 1970s by Forshee's grandmother, Ruth Nystrom, and Ann Friesen who collected items to distribute to those in need.

The Giveaway House moved out of its North Havre location March 3 and now is housed under the name Havre's Helping Haven in the same building as the nonprofit organization My Neighbor in Need on the 400 Block of 6th Avenue.

If convicted, Forshee faces up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Her next court date is scheduled for May 11.

 

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