Two women charged with faking state fair claims

December 27, 2011

Two Indianapolis women were charged Tuesday with making false claims to try to collect money from funds intended for victims of the Indiana State Fair stage collapse.

Stephanie Murry, 25, and Sandra Hurn, 38, were charged with forgery, attempted theft and perjury, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said. Hurn also was charged with theft.

"It is particularly troubling that individuals would attempt to illegally profit upon a tragedy such as the State Fair stage collapse," Curry said in a prepared statement. "We have zero tolerance for those who wish to gain at the misfortune of others."

Murry's attorney, Doug Kowalski, didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment. Hurn had no attorney or listed phone number. Delaney said Murry remained in jail Tuesday, while Hurn was free on bond. Murry could face up to 14 years in prison if convicted, while Hurn could face 36 years, The Indianapolis Star reported.

Authorities said the women each submitted claims totaling $22,500 to a private relief fund and the state tort claim fund. Both funds are administered by the Indiana attorney general's office.

Prosecutors said both women submitted falsified hospital records detailing injuries they claimed to have suffered when high winds swept the fairgrounds Aug. 13 before the country duo Sugarland was due to perform and toppled stage rigging onto a crowd. Seven people were killed and dozens more injured.

Prosecutor's office spokeswoman Brienne Delaney said neither Murry nor Hurn is believed to have attended the concert.

The Star reported that officials told both women they would receive money from the tort claim fund. Instead, Hurn was arrested when she went to pick up her check, and Murry was arrested a short time later.


Recent Articles by Associated Press

Comments powered by Disqus