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Accused thief puts on disappearing act

A White county court employee helps an accused thief avoid news cameras...at least until her next court appearance.{ }

SEARCY (KATV) -

An accused thief proved adept at disappearing today as she managed to avoid being videotaped at her court appearance.

She got an assist from a court employee.

Nine times out of ten when a suspect appears in court, we get video of that suspect.

This is one of those times that we didn't.

All of the defendants who appeared in criminal court before Judge Robert Edwards entered through the front door, passed through a metal detector and walked down this hallway.

And all of them left the same way...with one exception.

A court employee hustled felony theft suspect Diana Woodle out a side door after her court appearance...allowing her to avoid facing our cameras.

It was special treatment rarely afforded a criminal defendant...especially one accused of stealing in excess of $350,000.00 from her former employer.

So why would the 52 year-old former manager of a small town water association get such a perk?

Possibly because her husband...Dee Woodle...is a long-time deputy with the White County Sheriff's Department.

Apparently the former detective failed to detect when, as prosecutors allege, his wife was using her company issued credit card to pay tuition at Harding Academy.

Or to buy thousands of dollars worth of food and merchandise at Searcy businesses like J & M Meat and Seafood, Crystal Clear Pools, Tractor Supply Company, McCoys and Starbucks.

And deputy Woodle must have missed the over 100 deliveries of products purchased from QVC with his wife's company card.

Something else deputy Woodle missed? His wife's court appearance.

The man who brought Diana Woodle to court and sat with her in the courtroom refused to identify himself.

Other than giving us the slip with the help of one of Judge Edward's employees, not much else happened.

Woodle's attorney Paul Petty asked for more time to prepare for trial and his request was granted.

Diana Woodle will be due back in court in one month.

Air date: November 8th, 2017

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