Local News

New Allegations Could Bring Back Old Trouble for Former Teacher

Posted December 13, 2007 7:45 p.m. EST
Updated December 13, 2007 11:05 p.m. EST

— A private investigator said Thursday that a former teacher once charged in a murder-for-hire-plot tried to get him to use counterfeit money to bribe witnesses connected with the case.

Marcia Grimsley first made news in 2004 when Virginia authorities charged that she tried to help her son hire a hit man to kill his wife.

Authorities later dropped all charges against her because she had severe health problems.

Last Wednesday, Clayton police charged Grimsley had printed more than $200,000 in fake currency from her home computer. Federal counterfeit charges are pending.

"It was obvious that it was counterfeit," said Jim Mabry, a private investigator from Kinston, who told police about the counterfeit money when, he said, Grimsley tried to pass it to him.

Mabry said she hired him to investigate her son's case to see if there was any evidence that could exonerate him. At one point, on Nov. 9, he said, she asked him to bribe witnesses, including her son's wife, Amy Ashford.

"She wanted me to take this fake money and go to Virginia and to interview people and try to get them to change their story," Mabry said.

Grimsley's attorney declined to comment.

When Virginia prosecutors agreed to drop the murder-for-hire charges against Grimsley in 2006, the court ordered her not to have any contact with Ashford or her grandchildren, even through someone else.

"And I think she was trying to use me as a conduit to do that, and I told her I couldn't do that," Mabry said.

"I would have been violating it for her, and I would have been arrested as well."

If it is proved that Grimsley violated the protective order, prosecutors said the murder-for-hire charges could be reinstated.

Prosecutors and investigators in Virginia said they are now in contact with authorities in Johnston County and are closely monitoring Grimsley's newest charges.