Eupora woman indicted in Parks embezzlement case


The grand jury this week served an indictment on 46-year-old Marion Watson, of Eupora, for one count of conspiracy to defraud the state. 

By: 
Ryan Phillips
SDN Editor

A Eupora woman is the second person indicted by an Oktibbeha County Grand Jury in connection with a series of arrests following an embezzlement investigation involving the city of Starkville’s Parks and Recreation Department. 

The grand jury this week served an indictment on 46-year-old Marion Watson, of Eupora, for one count of conspiracy to defraud the state. 

She is accused of entering into an agreement, combination or conspiracy with then-Parks Director Herman Peters to defraud the city and state by obtaining payment from public funds on a false or fraudulent claim. 

Court documents allege that the embezzlement took place from January 2015 to November 2017.

Watson is the second person to be indicted in connection with the embezzlement allegations, after Peters was also indicted on one count of the same charge. 

READ: Former Parks director accused of conspiracy to embezzle nearly $22K

She entered a not guilty plea on Tuesday to the single felony count.

Watson, who worked as a contractor for the department, turned herself in to the Starkville Police Department in January on the embezzlement charge, along with 33-year-old Anthony Stevenson, of Starkville. 

Stevenson, who also worked as a contractor for the department, is accused of embezzling $4,082.50, while Watson is charged with the same offense to the tune of $2,420.

Peters, Stevenson and Watson are all out of jail on $5,000 bond.

The Starkville Daily News previously reported that 38-year-old Schronda Eddins, of Columbus, and 61-year-old Dianne Evans, a former administrative assistant for the department, were also charged with embezzlement and are no longer employed with the city. 

Eddins is accused of embezzling the most among the group, in the amount of $15,200 from January 2015 to November 2017.

Peters also entered a not guilty plea on Monday and his trial date was set for Oct. 31 at 9 a.m., the same date and time as Watson’s next appearance in Circuit Court. 

According to court documents, the group, under the direction of Peters, embezzled a total of $21,702.50. 

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