The July term Navarro County Grand Jury returned an indictment Thursday against a Richland woman accused of theft from city bank accounts while she served as city secretary.

Valerie Steele, 34, was indicted for forgery and theft over $20,000 but less than $100,000 in connection with funds missing from the city of Richland. Steele surrendered to Navarro County authorities May 18 following a warrant that was issued in connection with the missing funds.

Steele was arrested again July 12 on forgery charges. She was on probation from a previous theft charge in Navarro County unrelated to the Richland charges, according to Navarro County District Attorney Steve Keathley.

Richland Mayor Delores Baldwin told the Daily Sun in May that she uncovered financial irregularities while reviewing bank statements from April, 2006 and saw canceled checks she said she did not remember signing. Baldwin said that she and a city councilman then began to go over the bank statements in detail. She reported the missing funds to the Sheriff’s office May 8. Lt. Jimmy Johnson and Texas Ranger Trace McDonald conducted the investigation of the missing funds.

Bonds totaling $12,500 were set for Steele on the theft and forgery charges.

Indictments were also handed down against four individuals on various sex-related charges, three involving minors.

Dale Lee Williamson is in custody in lieu of two $50,000 bonds on charges of indecency with a child and sexual assault of a child. Williamson’s alleged victims are both females, one 16-years-old, and another 13-years-old.

Also indicted was Andrew Albert Beamon, 67, charged with criminal solicitation of a minor, a 14-year-old female. Bond was set at $5,000 for Beamon.

Silas Andrew Marrs was indicted on charges of indecency with a child, a three-year-old female. His bond was set at $15,000.

A San Antonio man, Benjamin Dominguez, Jr. was indicted for aggravated sexual assault charges. Bond was set at $100,000.

A total of 43 indictments were returned against 38 individuals according to a list issued by the district attorney’s office.


Bob Belcher may be contacted via e-mail at

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