Nikki Warner

PROVO — A woman who racked up five separate felony cases, which included forging checks belonging to her dead sister-in-law, recently resolved all the cases with a plea deal.

Nikki Warner, 38, pleaded guilty last week to eight felony charges and two misdemeanor charges, in an agreement that six other felonies and four other misdemeanors be dismissed, said deputy Utah County attorney Chad Grunander.

The felonies include forgery, identity fraud and possession of stolen property, with misdemeanors of resisting arrest and DUI.

"This agreement satisfies everything we wanted out of this case," Grunander said. "We're very pleased with this resolution."

Warner was first arrested in September 2006 after passing fake checks at fruit and vegetable stands throughout Utah County. The checks failed to clear because they were from the closed account of Sharee Hatch, Warner's sister-in-law who was killed in 2002 by Warner's brother Robert Steven Hatch.

He was convicted and is serving two life terms in the Utah State Prison.

"It was an important case for our office," Grunander said. "The victim in the forgery case was Sharee Hatch, and it was this office that prosecuted her estranged husband, Steven Hatch, who murdered Sharee. It was very important from that standpoint."

Warner will be sentenced in December, rather than go to trial on her first forgery case. Calls to her attorney were not immediately returned.

Grunander said as part of the deal, he agreed to recommend that Warner's sentence in each case run concurrently — at the same time as each other — but each sentence could run one after the other, meaning a potential of 20 years in prison.

Warner was also arrested in March for stealing jewelry, rare coins and checks from a Spanish Fork home. She bailed out and was arrested Sept. 14 for allegedly driving under the influence. Charges from both of those arrests were also resolved through this plea deal.

"We're very pleased with this resolution," Grunander said. "Hopefully (Warner) gets the message and that further criminal activity, when she is released, will stop."

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