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Wills offered plea agreement

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By Lisa King

Jody Wills, a Shelby County woman charged with embezzling $600,000 of escrow accounts from her employer, has been offered a plea agreement by prosecutors. Wills is scheduled to enter a plea in Shelby Circuit Court at 9 a.m. Wednesday. That appearance had been delayed a week. In addition to embezzling funds from the Dean Law Office from 2003 through 2005,  Wills also is accused of kiting $2,609,672 in funds as well.  In a criminal case that began last year, Wills, wife of a former Shelby County Deputy Sheriff Daniel Wills, has been indicted on 39 counts of theft by deception over $300, one count of theft by failure to make required disposition of property, one count of tampering with physical evidence and one count of fraudulent use of a credit card. These counts were charged in four separate indictments. Shelby County Commonwealth’s Attorney Laura Donnell had stated previously that she was not at liberty to discuss the conditions of a potential plea agreement. Those terms would be made public Wednesday if Wills were to accept them. If convicted on all counts, Wills could go to jail for the rest of her life. Before her plea agreement was scheduled, Wills, through her attorney, Timothy Denison in Louisville, requested a change of venue in the event that her case should go to trial, which it has been scheduled to do so in February. The request was based on the premise that pretrial publicity, public opinion and identities of the parties involved would prevent her from receiving a fair trial in Shelby County. However, no action was taken on that request. Donnell said that she thinks a change of venue would not be appropriate because the offenses occurred in Shelby County.