Pastor Tyler charged with theft from seniors | Local News

From staff reports

A Tyler pastor who was accused of taking more than $30,000 from a couple by making withdrawals from their accounts has been charged with theft from an elderly person.

Jerome Rocky Milton, 66, was indicted at the December 9 grand jury session after his October arrest, according to 114th District Court records.

Milton was sentenced Oct. 2 to Smith County Jail for theft of property between $2,500 and $30,000, two counts of credit or debit card abuse against senior citizens and one count of theft of property between $30,000 and $150,000 against an elderly person. He was released on October 22 on bonds totaling $320,000.

Milton was arrested Dec. 22 for misappropriation of $150,000 to $300,000 in trust property, according to prison records. He was released the same day on $100,000 bond.

Documents released Monday by the Smith County District Attorney’s Office showed an indictment for a single charge.

An affidavit of his arrest showed that Milton was the reverend of the Open Door Bible Church in Tyler.

According to the document, Milton was helping to care for an elderly couple at church and had power of attorney and finances for them.

Tyler’s police investigation began when the elderly couple’s son overheard two church members say Milton was misusing his parents’ bank cards and making them sign blank cheques.

According to the affidavit, the investigation showed multiple debit card transactions and ATM withdrawals from the elderly husband’s bank card. The detective said several checks were drawn from the couple’s Milton account and from their personal and religious accounts.

He repeatedly used the couple’s money to make personal payments in his own name, according to the affidavit.

Bank statements and receipts showed that the old man’s card had been used to make a vehicle payment to Milton’s account at an auto repair shop. Records also showed Milton used the man’s card to pay off a loan at a used car business, the affidavit said.

Milton is scheduled for a hearing in May on the theft charge, according to jail records online.

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