Posted: May 23, 2012 6:18 PM
Updated: May 23, 2012 6:52 PM
BROWNSVILLE - A La Feria businesswoman facing nearly a dozen and a half criminal charges was in court today. Jo Leigh Ares' lawyer says in spite of the criminal charges, it's a civil matter and she wants it resolved.
Stan Hulse tells us he will review all of the misdemeanors and felonies with county prosecutors. "If there are felonies that are floating out there, we want to know about them," he says.
Hulse adds his client isn't a criminal, and her legal problems won't be solved in criminal court. "The majority of these cases are civil matters. That's what everyone says that looks at it. It's a civil matter," he says.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS asked why Ares left Texas when mobile home customers started accusing her of fraud last October. "There's a lot of misconceptions about avoiding justice in this matter," Hulse says.
According to her attorney, Ares went to Boise, Idaho for her own safety. "There was a threat made against my client and her child," he says. "She called me. I said, ‘You need to file a police report before you leave.'"
Ares filed a report with Palm Valley police October 26. Her husband claimed someone damaged her Mercedes. The attorney says someone shot at it.
Hulse says his client never tried ducking the allegations. "It's always been her intent to come down here and represent on each one of these charges," he tells us.
Meanwhile, charges keep piling up. The Cameron County deputy that arrested Ares last December says they have another felony arrest warrant for her. Prosecutors told them not to serve that warrant. They are waiting for an indictment.