Neighbors of Melissa Jones react to plea

Posted at: 01/02/2013 11:41 PM
By: Lynette Adams

She was accused of faking cancer, and today Melissa Jones took a plea deal admitting to stealing between $20-thousand and $30-thousand.

Jones showed little emotion in court today.
Part of the agreement was that Jones had to admit what she did. Jones said she took money people gave her -- because they thought she had breast cancer. She also admitted to giving police two fake letters saying she had cancer. One of those letters was from a made-up doctor.

Today, news10nbc went back to the neighborhood, where Jones lived, and spoke with some of her neighbors.

Betty MacLean and Cherie Shumaker say Jones is getting what she deserves and now. Their neighborhood can get back to normal. What they don't agree on however, is how this case was handled.

“There have been some friends who have had to go to court and face her and it's been really hard. So I think it will just bring relief to everybody,” Said MacLean.

MacLean and Shumaker were neighbors of the Jones , but The couple has since sold the home and moved. The ladies were among the many families in this close knit Farmington community who gave of their money, time and care to a woman they believed was dying. They say they never saw any indication that she was sorry.

“There's no remorse. I ran into her. I saw her in a store. We glanced at each other, but there was no sign of remorse or that she was sorry,” said MacLean.

While the ladies say its sad to see a mother have to leave her children, they hope prison will change Jones and give her time to think about what she's done to so many people.

“I know that she's a mother and I can't imagine being away from kids for week. So to be away for a year to 5 years I think is going to be a sentence, a sad sentence in and of itself. I Hope she comes out a better person,”said MacLean.

“Hopefully it will be time to reflect on what she did, and pay back the community in some way. Community service and look inside at why she did such a horrible thing,” said Shumaker.

The two say this will not in any way deter them from helping another neighbor in the future who may be in need or giving to a good cause.

The judge has ordered Jones to pay back $20-thousand., and they hoping if she pays the restitution that they can get the money and give it to someone who truly needs it.