Brown Pleads Not Guilty, Second Person Arrested in Counterfeit Case

By: James Brandenburg Email
By: James Brandenburg Email

Western Kentucky University women's basketball player Arnika Brown plead not guilty Wednesday to charges she possessed and used counterfeit money in Hopkinsville over the weekend.

Rick Boling, Brown's attorney, said he hopes the 21-year-old Brown can be exonerated on the basis she didn't originally know the bills were counterfeit and actually helped police locate a second suspect in the case.

Hopkinsville police arrested 37-year-old Yolanda Trice Wednesday, charging her with 11 felony counts of Possession of a Forged Instrument, First Degree and five misdemeanor counts of Theft by Deception Under $300, the same charges made against Brown Saturday night.

Boling told WBKO that Brown's involvement was as a driver and only handled bills that were passed to her by Trice to then pass to cashiers at drive-thru windows.

The criminal complaint filed by Hopkinsville Police Det. Scott Raup corroborated that story, alleging Trice rode with Brown and the two purchased items using counterfeit $100 bills at four different fast food restaurants in Hopkinsville.

An attempt to pass a counterfeit bill at a fifth restaurant was unsuccessful, which Boling said is the first time Brown realized the money was fake.

Boling said Brown then returned the food to the drive-thru cashier.

According to Boling, Brown initially came in contact with Hopkinsville Police after learning that they were looking for Trice regarding the counterfeit purchases.

Boling said that it was only when Brown offered the police information that they arrested her.

Boling said he hoped prosecutors would amend or eliminate charges against Brown, preventing the case from going to a grand jury.

He said that's unlikely, however, because she and Trice are co-defendants in the case.

Brown's due back in Christian District Court for a preliminary hearing on August 27th.

According to Boling, Brown will start the fall semester at WKU two days before that.


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