NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Another Nacogdoches woman has been arrested for her alleged part in staging an auto accident in October 2011. Three children under the age of 15 were in one of the vehicles that were involved in the accident.
Ashley Renea Benton, 30, was arrested on seven counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and three counts of endangering a child, all felonies. She is still being held in the Nacogdoches County jail, and her collective bail has been set at $30,000.
According to the text of the Nacogdoches County grand jury indictment passed down in July, all of the offenses date back to October 2011. The indictment stated that Benton conspired with Chavorsky Lee Charles Brooks to stage an auto accident, and file four fraudulent claims with Allstate Insurance for a total amount that was between $1,500 and $20,000.
Three of the engaging in organized criminal activity charges stemmed from allegations that Benton exploited three young children under the age of 15 to file fraudulent. The indictment also said that Benton placed three children "in imminent danger of death, bodily injury, or physical or impairment" by "driving or causing to be driven" a vehicle that was involved in a staged accident.
On Tuesday, Nacogdoches County Sheriff's deputies arrested Veronica Lafferal Jernigan, 34, of Nacogdoches. Jernigan is also accused being involved in the staged accident.
Jernigan was charged with four counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and two counts of child exploitation.