The housekeeper of murder victim Ray Shires pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of forgery and grand theft during her arraignment in Calaveras County Superior Court.
42-year-old Patricia Anne Ordway had been Shires´s housekeeper since earlier this summer, and was arrested last week on charges that she forged his name on a 2500 dollar check. Officials believe she may have stolen even more.
On September 17th, the body of Shires was found beaten to death in Avery.
Soon after, Shires´s wallet and checkbook were found near Highway 4 east of Angels Camp, along with a carpenter´s hammer which investigators think may have been the murder weapon.
Bail for Ordway has been set at 500-thousand dollars due to the continuing investigation, and officials´ beliefs that she was involved in the beating death.
Up next for Ordway: a preliminary hearing on the theft charges, scheduled for October 12th.