A Chester woman is accused of faking her own death to try to avoid going to jail for DUI in Rock Hill.
Police say Darene Springs Weston, 43, went to Rock Hill Municipal Court on Wednesday, identified herself as her mother, and presented a forged document from the York County Coroner’s Office claiming that she was dead.
It turned out that Weston was very much alive and was standing right there in front of the court clerk.
The clerk alerted officers, and after an investigation Weston was arrested on a charge of obstruction of justice, arrest warrants show. She remains jailed under a $10,000 bond.
Weston did all that “in an attempt to get four court cases dismissed due to the defendant being dead,” Rock Hill Municipal Judge Dolores Williams said in court Friday morning.
When Weston asked the judge, “If I plead guilty can I get my cases to run concurrent?” the judge stopped her and told her that, since the charge is a felony that carries up to 10 years in prison, it would be handled in York County criminal court, not municipal court, where only misdemeanors are heard.
Weston was sentenced this week to 90 days in jail after failing to show up for court on charges stemming from an April arrest: giving false information to police, DUI, driving under suspension, and having an open alcohol container in her vehicle, court records show. She was tried and found guilty in her absence, and police issued a bench warrant for her arrest.
That’s when she made her claim that she was dead.
Weston admitted in court Friday after she was booked for obstruction of justice that, “I’m going to do time for that.”
Weston has pending charges for drug possession and larceny and past convictions for shoplifting, State Law Enforcement Division records show. She told Judge Williams that she is unemployed and a widow, and that she lives solely on Social Security disability benefits. She said she had been tested for mental competency after her arrests for other alleged crimes.
Williams asked Weston, “Are you out on bond for a drug charge?”
After a short pause, Weston replied:
“Yes, but the drugs were mine.”