Marvin Edward Ringley
SURGOINSVILLE — The forfeiture of Vickie Ringley’s home on the hill overlooking the Hawkins County Memorial Gardens became official last week, but as of Tuesday her ex-husband was reportedly still living there.
Marvin Edward Ringley Jr., 52, was not charged along with Vickie Ringley, who was named earlier this year in a 12 count Hawkins County Grand Jury indictment accusing her of perpetrating theft and fraud during her operation of the cemetery dating back two decades.
Mr. Ringley was arrested Tuesday, however, when he allegedly refused to allow a real estate representative now serving as caretaker for the property access to the house.
The Ringleys were married business partners when some of the alleged fraud Vickie Ringley is accused of took place. Marvin Ringley currently lists his employer as “Marvin Ringley Funeral Service.”
Third Judicial District Attorney General Dan Armstrong told the Times-News Thursday that no evidence or proof came out of the investigation into Vickie Ringley that would indicate Marvin Ringley was involved in her alleged crimes.
Vickie Ringley remains held in the Hawkins County Jail on $200,000 bond with a trial date set for Oct. 13 in Hawkins County Criminal Court.
On Sept. 4 Mrs. Ringley was served with a writ of possession, forfeiting her home.
According to the Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office, of Tuesday morning Marvin Ringley was living in Vickie Ringley’s house on the hill at 536 Carters Valley Loop just west of Surgoinsville overlooking the cemetery.
That log style home is highly visible from Highway 11-W just west of the Carters Valley Loop intersection.
Shortly before 11 a.m. Tuesday HCSO Deputy Eric Pease responded to a trespassing complaint at the residence where he reportedly found Mr. Ringley sitting in his pickup blocking driveway access to the residence.
Realty Executives of Greeneville is now serving as caretaker for the property.
Tuesday morning Rheta Finigan from Realty Executives went to the residence to see if all the property had been removed from the property.
When she arrived, however, Marvin Ringley was allegedly blocking her access to the house with his pickup.
“Upon my arrival Mr. Ringley was sitting in the driveway and stated that he didn’t have to move because the driveway belonged to the graveyard,” Pease stated in his report. “I asked Mr. Ringley to move his vehicle, and he stated he didn’t have to move and let her to the residence.”
Mr. Ringley was then arrested and charged with criminal trespassing.
He was released on a $1,000 bond Tuesday afternoon, and arraigned Wednesday in Hawkins County Sessions Court.
Mr. Ringley is scheduled to appear in Sessions Court again on Nov. 12.
Vickie Ringley, the former Hawkins County Memorial Gardens owner, was indicted Feb. 3 on two counts of theft over $60,000, two counts of money laundering, one count of forgery, and seven counts of failure to follow cemetery regulations.
The top counts in the indictment are the theft and the money laundering charges, all of which are both Class B felonies punishable by 8-12 years.
The two theft charges envelope 370 alleged victims dating back to 1992.
Approximately 114 burial plots were allegedly double sold by Mrs. Ringley.
She is also accused of stealing funds paid for services at the cemetery such as setting a grave stone.
Later when a new patron paid for a different service, Mrs. Ringley would use the new money to pay for an earlier service which may have gone neglected for months or years.
Many of the services which have already been paid for hadn’t been completed at the time of her arrest in February, and the receiver appointed to operate the cemetery is trying to resolve those issues.