A courthouse researcher charged with taking official records from the Columbia County Clerk of Superior Court’s office last summer changed her plea mid-trial Tuesday.
Vanessa Robin Waldron, 54, was an employee of Augusta-based Lawyers Abstract Co., in June 2013, when she was charged with two counts of stealing or altering public documents. She was indicted on those charges in March.
Clerk of Court Cindy Mason called authorities on June 13 after Waldron brought to her attention that four pages were missing from indexes to grantor books that contain index cards used to guide researchers to original property documents.
Mason offered to share video surveillance footage of the area with investigators, who arrested Waldron the next day.
Waldron’s trial began Monday at the Evans courthouse with the prosecution’s case.
When court resumed Tuesday morning, Waldron changed her plea and pled nolo contendre to criminal trespass, a lesser included charge, according to court documents.
Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet sentenced Waldron to 12 months probation and a $1,000 fine.