Woman accused of stealing from murder victim shoots self

January 11th, 2011 by Staff


GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) – A woman accused of stealing from a murder victim shoots and kills herself.

Courtney Ford says she called police just before 2 p.m. Saturday after she heard a gunshot. Ford says she went into the living room and found a hole in her wall and a bullet on the floor.

“I didn’t know if someone was angry and just popping off bullets somewhere,” Billy Ford said after his wife told him what had happened.

When police arrived, they traced the bullet’s path back to an apartment across the street. They forced their way inside and found Michelle Leatherman suffering a gunshot wound to the head. Leatherman, an employee at King Mortuary Services, was arrested Friday on charges of stealing a credit card from the body of Laura Newman. Newman was a cheerleading coach at Ashbrook High School who was killed, police say, by her husband in a murder-suicide.

“We talked to her [Leatherman] after she was released from jail and she said she was innocent,” Leatherman’s brother Tony Lewis said.

Police say Leatherman used the card to buy gasoline and online merchandise.

“[The accusations] just ruined her life…she was so devastated..she was so depressed and stuff and couldn’t handle it,” Lewis said.

Lewis says his sister had been with at the mortuary for a couple of years and worked hard to get there. Dwight Lewis thinks his sister had fallen on hard times. Letherman’s brothers say they hope their sister won’t be remembered for these accusations and want to make things right for the Newman family.

“We apologize on her behalf and we’ll try to reimburse them for any loses because we know they had a loss as well in their family and our hearts and prayers go out to them too,” Dwight Lewis said.

WBTV reached King Mortuary Services by phone. The person who answered said they were not ready to release a statement.


One Response

  1. B.H.

    What an odd story. Convenient that she worked at a mortuary….she worked hard to get there, then took the easy way out. She should’ve shot herself there and not endanger people in her neighborhood. Also…did she live to receive the merchandise that she purchased online with the stolen card? Guess it wasn’t very cool stuff….not worth living for.

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