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Tennessee EMS worker/fire chief charged in theft from dead woman’s home. Ashley Choate told police she was having financial difficulties.

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Police say Ashley Choate was arrested following an investigation into the theft of money from the home of a woman who was found dead in her Portland, Tennessee home on Monday. News reports indicate that Choate was immediately fired from her job at Sumner County EMS and resigned as chief of the Oak Grove Community Fire Department.

Adam Ghassemi, WTVF-TV:

Portland Police were conducting a death investigation Monday at a home on Highway 259 near the Tennessee/Kentucky boarder. Detectives say Melissa Humphrey died of natural causes, but they also found cash in a vehicle parked inside the home’s garage.

They say 28-year-old Ashley Choate, a Sumner County EMS worker, arrived by ambulance to assist. When the officers went to collect and hand the money over to the family it was gone.

Alexander Quinones, Gallatin News Examiner:

During the investigation, officers found cash in a vehicle that was in the garage, according to a release from Portland police. When officers went to retrieve the money to turn it over to family members, they discovered it missing.

“Detectives then began speaking with all personnel present on the scene, and discovered that Choate … was the only known person in the garage, unsupervised,” the release said.

According to the arrest affidavit filed against Choate, she confessed to having taken the money, which she said was about $100, but had torn it up and thrown it out the window while driving back home because “she knew she should not have done it.” 

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