Lawyer of woman accused of faking breast cancer reads statement outside court
Posted at: 10/10/2012 3:17 AM
| Updated at: 10/10/2012 6:41 PM
By: Berkeley Brean | WHEC.com
The woman from Canandaigua accused of faking cancer wanted the public to hear her side of the story so she had her new lawyer read a statement that she wrote.
The public rarely hear defendants talk, let along their lawyers read their statements, but Jones thinks she’s been vilified by the media and the police.
Part of her statement read, “I did believe that I was diagnosed with cancer. Apparently that diagnosis has been found to be incorrect. I also have never pretended to have cancer. The wonderful generous outpouring of care I received was the result of an honest and reasonable belief that I had a rare form of breast cancer called inflammatory breast cancer or IBC."
Jones was in court to get her new attorney; his name is Kevin McKain.
Jones is accused of faking cancer and then profiting tens of thousands of dollars from fundraisers organized by her friends for her.
Jones' statement says she never took any money, she he didn't organize the fundraisers and it also says she got treated for cancer. Her statement continued, “I did undergo two rounds of chemotherapy. As a result I did lose most of my hair and ultimately was forced to cut it short to mask the loss. I did not shave my head to simulate any scheme of the suffering of cancer. "
Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo said, “As you heard at the Huntley hearing last week, the police repeatedly asked her if you have any evidence of any sort that you've actually been diagnosed with cancer or have been treated for cancer just give a copy to us, show and we'll close our investigation. And of course she was never able to do so. So I remain highly skeptical of the statements she made to you earlier this morning. "
The trial is set for January but the judge re-opened the plea bargain offer. If she pleads guilty, she'll serve one to five years.
Judge Kocher told Jones if she's convicted at trial, she faces 10 to 20 years in prison. Kocher told her the plea deal is only good until Friday, October 19.
Jones’ lawyer says on October 19 he will ask the judge to move the trial to a different county because he doesn’t think Jones can get a fair trial in Ontario County.
Transcript of Statement
"For over a year now, I have stood accused of the very heinous act of pretending to suffer from the terrible disease of cancer. During this time, I have watched and listened while people, including public officials and members of the media, have cast judgment on me and my family. I’ve been called an insult to cancer survivors and “deserving of the maximum sentence allowable under law. My actions have been described as a “travesty” by Canandaigua Police Chief Jon Welch. District Attorney Michael Tantillo has told reporters that “there is no reason to believe” I had cancer. The Kimberly & Beck Radio Show refers to me as the “Scam Lady” and a “Scam Artist, in addition to giving out my home address to its listeners. Ultimately, due to constant scrutiny and harassment, my husband and I were forced to move from our home.
By making this statement today, it is my sincere hope that further judgment will be withheld until I am given the opportunity to defend myself before a jury of my peers. I have always understood that all defendants were presumed innocent until proven guilty. I ask only that I be afforded the same presumption.
God willing, and with the able assistance of my attorney, Kevin McKain, and the continued support of family and friends whom have stuck by my side throughout this nightmare, I will not only be found not guilty, but innocent.
In the meantime, while I cannot possibly respond to every accusation, rumor and speculation surrounding this case, I offer the following:
1. I believed I was diagnosed with cancer. Apparently, that diagnoses was incorrect;
2. I also have never pretended to have cancer. The wonderful and generous outpouring of support I received was the result of an honest and reasonable belief that I had a rare form of breast cancer called Inflamatory Breast Cancer or IBC.
3. My belief that I had IBC was the result of the presence of symptoms commonly associated with IBC and communications with medical personnel.
4. I did not seek to obtain benefits, including donations, as the result of my apparent diagnoses, nor did I ask anyone to hold fund raisers on my behalf.
5. Contrary to media reports, law enforcement did not recover $20,000 from me. The proceeds in question were recovered from an unrelated third-party whom coordinated a fundraiser. I never received those proceeds.
6. The $25,000 that was posted for bail in this matter was obtained from family.
7. My husband and I have not separated or divorced, and my husband remains my staunchest supporter.
8. I underwent two rounds of chemo therapy. As a result, I lost most of my hair and ultimately was forced to cut it short to mask the loss. I did not shave my head as part of any scheme to simulate suffering from cancer
At the advice of my attorney, I will not personally make any further statements regarding this matter until after trial. I look forward to my day in court and would ask that you respect the rights of myself and my family until the conclusion of this case. For those family members and friends whom have remained on my side, I thank you. Any further questions should be directed to my attorney, Kevin McKain."