Woman accused in state fair collapse scam skips court

Woman, aunt both pleaded guilty

INDIANAPOLIS - An arrest warrant has been issued for a woman who pleaded guilty to taking money meant for victims of the Indiana State Fair stage rigging collapse but failed to show up in court.

Stephanie Murry, 26, falsified hospital records and submitted claims to both the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund and the Indiana Tort Claim Fund, claiming she was injured when the rigging above the stage at the Indiana State Fairgrounds collapsed before the Sugarland concert Aug. 13, 2011, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

Murry's claim with the Indiana State Fair Remembrance Fund was denied, but she was given $2,900 from the Indiana Tort Claim Fund. She was arrested shortly after receiving the check.

As part of a plea deal, Murry pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and one count of perjury.

She was expected to be sentenced Friday to four years on work release and one year on probation, but she did not show up at community corrections, court officials said.

"It was probably not the brightest thing she has ever done. As far as if it is a major blunder with her future and what happens with this plea, that remains to be seen," said Deputy Prosecutor Andy Fogle. "She did a pretty dumb thing. She should not have disobeyed a court order. "

Violating the court order could mean she will serve her sentence in prison.

"This young lady has looked a gift horse in the mouth. When you get community corrections as a part of your sentence, that is a gift from the court," said Indianapolis legal expert Jack Crawford, who is not involved in the case. "When you violate the conditions of community corrections and, in this case, don't show up, she has made a terrible blunder for herself."

Murry's aunt, Sandra Hurn, 38, claimed to be an 11-year-old girl who had been trampled by crowds fleeing the collapsed rigging. She was given $7,500 check from the remembrance fund.

She pleaded guilty to one count of forgery and one count of possession of a controlled substance in exchange for two years on home detention and three years on probation.

Both women were ordered to perform community service as well.

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