Police: Woman married comatose veteran to get his estate

A Beaumont woman is facing an exploitation of elderly charge after police say she fraudulently married her boyfriend while he was in a coma.  Lenora Reese-Mcnair is currently in jail on a $100,000 bond.

That marriage license gained her complete access to her now late husband's assets. Police say her co-conspirator is her son, Jamaal Bush, whom they say signed all of the documents. He's also been charged with exploitation of elderly.

In the probable cause affidavit obtained by 12News, Derek McNair suffered a heart attack in December and was in a coma for months. The document says Reese-McNair gained all of his assets when he passed away.

After the marriage license was obtained, the probable cause affidavit says Reece-McNair presented a power of attorney to medical staff and then began forging her husband's signature on his check that she made payable to herself. 

Investigators say Reese-McNair then filed a quitclaim deed, notarized by Bush, that gave her complete ownership of McNairs west-end Beaumont home.

"She went out and portrayed herself as being his wife and took over all of his estate and his accounts," says Officer Carol Riley with the Beaumont police department.

McNair's son, who lives out of town, became suspicious and called police to investigate.

Reece-McNair and Bush were arrested. Police say the two were residing in McNair's home, that is now in the wife's name. 

"This man did time for our country. He served and here he is incapacitated and she took it upon herself to victimize him," says Ofc. Riley.

McNair's family now has to wait for the court to decide if Reese-McNair and Bush are guilty.  If so, the McNair family can gain access to their loved ones assets.

"We're just hoping that the justice system prevails and this family is able to do what they need to do to move on," says Ofc. Riley.

The mother and son are being represented by Beaumont attorney Jason Nicks.

Nicks told 12News "It is very early on in the process. We have no comment at this time. We look forward to presenting our case and our side of the story to a fair and impartial jury."

Both Reese-McNair and Bush remain in the Jefferson County jail on a $100,000 bond each.

They are both set to appear in Judge John Stevens courtroom on September 9.


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