Former Deputy District Clerk Charged for Tampering with Government Record

The body of water pictured above is a part of the creek where the disposed records were recovered.

July 10, 2019 - A former Shelby County Deputy District Clerk has been arrested on charges of tampering with government records, misdemeanor a, following an investigation by the Texas Rangers.

In March a resident in the Possum Trot area on CR 2545 discovered a trash bag on their property which had been dumped in a creek. The resident made contact with Marla Denby, Justice of the Peace Precinct 2, about the bag which she and Jamie Hagler, Constable Precinct 2, took possession. When they discovered what was inside, they contacted Kevin Windham at the Shelby County Sheriff's Office and Shelby County District Clerk Lori Oliver.

Documents meant to have been filed in the District Clerk’s office had been thrown into a Shelby County creek, as well as, mail for several individuals with one particular name immediately becoming the primary suspect. That name was Shelly Murphree, 47, of Shelbyville.

According to the arrest affidavit, Texas Ranger James Hicks reviewed the documents at the Sheriff’s Department and several of them were file stamped "Shelby County District Clerk's Office," and also included were a check and a money order which appeared to have originally accompanied official government requests.

Ranger Hicks remarked the check and money order didn't appear to have been cashed.

A document also included in the report was a "Release of Child Support Lien," and several envelopes appeared to have been addressed to the Shelby County District Clerk's Office. The documents were listed as being addressed between October 28, 2018 and March 7, 2019.

It was reported to Ranger Hicks by Adam Renfro, Sheriff's Department Investigator, Murphree was known to be employed by the Shelby County District Clerk's Office. He also told Hicks, District Clerk Lori Oliver had been shown the documents and she indicated there was no legitimate reason they should have been removed from her office and when Oliver had searched for one of the documents, Murphree had denied knowing the whereabouts of the document.

According to the affidavit, Hicks conducted an interview of Murphree and she admitted to taking the documents and as many as 30 others, because she was overwhelmed, and she knew removing the documents was wrong. 

Murphree was arrested 6pm Tuesday, July 10, 2019 at the Shelby County Jail for tampering with a government record, misdemeanor a. She was bonded out later in the evening on a $5,000 bond.