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On March 10, 2015, an Elkhart Superior Court 2 jury found defendant Bruce E. Williams guilty of Forgery, a Level 6 felony, after deliberating for 18 minutes. The State charged Bruce E. Williams with Forgery when, on July 5, 2014, he was caught trying to cash a $5,800.00 check at a local Chase Bank branch that he claimed was written out to him by his elderly grandfather, Charles Williams. Chase Bank employees thought the transaction and check seemed suspicious, and they compared the signature on the check to previous checks written by Charles Williams. It was obvious to them that the signature did not match and the defendant was lying.

Bank employees then contacted the Elkhart Police Department as well as Charles Williams. Charles Williams was adamant that he never gave his grandson, “Buddy,” a check for $5,800.00. The police also called Charles Williams who reiterated that “Buddy” had absolutely no authority to cash the $5,800.00 check. The defendant was swiftly arrested, but bonded out of jail two days later.

On December 8, 2014, Elkhart Superior Court 2 Judge Stephen Bowers scheduled Bruce Williams’ jury trial for March 10, 2015. Bruce Williams was present in open court and acknowledged his trial date; however, he chose not to show up for his own trial on March 10 and it was held in absentia.

The victim, Charles Williams, who is 85 years old, testified that he never gave “Buddy” a check for $5,800.00. He also testified that the signature on the check was not his, but was forged. The State also provided the jury with sample legitimate checks that were previously written by Charles Williams so that they could compare real signatures with the forged signature. The jury deliberated for only 18 minutes and found “Buddy” guilty of Forgery.

Judge Bowers entered judgment of conviction and issued a warrant for the defendant’s arrest with bond set in the amount of $100,000.00. Sentencing will be scheduled once Bruce Williams is apprehended by authorities. The jury trial was handled by Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Eric Ditton and Michelle Weeks.


“Under Indiana law, all persons arrested for a criminal offense are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”