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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY — An Iowa City woman received a deferred judgment for stealing more than $650,000 from her mother’s bank account on the day she died, which was intended for her father, according to a will.
Edith H. Hora, 59, made an Alford plea in December to first-degree theft as charged. In an Alford plea, a defendant doesn’t admit guilt but agrees that prosecutors could likely prove the charge.
According to a criminal complaint, Hora transferred $653,480 from the checking account belonging to her mother, Josefina H. Sexton, the day her mother died on Sept. 14, 2016, to her personal checking account.
The mother’s will stated that 70 percent of the money was intended for the primary beneficiary, Marion Sexton, Hora’s father.
Hora didn’t have the authority to withdraw the funds, according to the complaint.
Judy Morrison, Hora's half sister, and Morrison's husband, Tim, told The Gazette after Hora was charged the deception was uncovered by their attorney in 2017. The couple said they knew Hora did not intend to execute the will as it was written.
The Morrisons said Marion Sexton received about $1 million from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for a lifetime lease on his Riverside farm in 2010.
Hora also transferred more than $200,000 to her husband's trucking business, the complaint stated.
Sexton moved to Arizona to be closer to the Morrisons and died in June without the matter being resolved, the Morrisons said.
As part of the plea agreement, the prosecution didn’t make a sentencing recommendation, and 6th Judicial District Chief Judge Lars Anderson granted the deferred judgment, sentencing Hora to three years of probation.
If she has no serious violations during the probation period, she could have the conviction expunged from her record.
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