Crime

Two accused of blackmailing Morgan County man

VERSAILLES, Mo. - A Morgan County couple was charged Saturday with extorting $100,000 from their landlord.

Prosecutors charged Dawn M. Farris and Sterling H. Farris, both of Gravois Mills, with two counts each of financial exploitation of an elderly person. They both posted bond and were released from jail Tuesday, according to online court records.

A probable cause statement filed in the case alleges Dawn Farris told the couple's landlord that she would report to police that the alleged victim sexually harassed her unless he paid her $100,000. The landlord paid the couple with a check on June 10, according to the statement. 

Sterling Farris told investigators the money was actually a loan from the alleged victim's dead father, according to the probable cause statement, and that the couple planned to pay the money back through a $150 monthly increase in their rent. 

"Sterling advised that this was not intended as a shake down," Morgan County sheriff's Det. Kyle Eckhoff wrote in the probable cause statement. 

Hearings in each case are set for Oct. 22. Lawyers were not listed for Sterling or Dawn Farris in online court records.

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