HANOVER, VA (WWBT) - A judge says "no deal" to a woman accused of faking cancer. Martha Nicholas planned to plead guilty to two counts of obtaining money under false pretenses, but the judge wouldn't have it.
Martha Nicholas told harrowing stories of survival, and raised thousands of dollars to fight cancer. She said she fought cancer four times and beat it.
But, an anonymous complaint landed her in court after police investigated and say she faked it all.
Wednesday morning, Nicholas said she was ready to plead guilty of taking the money under false pretenses. Plus, her lawyer said she had paid the money back-- all part of a plea agreement.
"Those who wanted money back have gotten money back," defense attorney Samuel Simpson told the press after the court hearing.
In an unexpected turn, the judge denied the proposed plea deal --saying he couldn't accept it when it didn't involve any jail time for this type of offense. He went on to say that accepting it would undermine faith in charitable institutions.
Simpson said the issue isn't that simple. "Those plea agreements are the result of the lawyers looking at the relative strengths of their cases and making decisions about how their options ought to go and he doesn't' know everything about it. He just knows what the papers are in front of them."
Nicholas withdrew both her guilty pleas and her attorney says they'll come up with a new defense plan.
"It's disappointing," said Simpson. "Because I know my client and the family really really want this over with and unfortunately we're going to have to keep going with it."
Nicholas is due in court at 9 a.m. on February 17th.
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