UNION COUNTY, N.C. — A dying man's last wish ended with his elderly wife charged with a felony crime in Union County.
Tuesday, Verna Roehm, 75, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor voter fraud.
Investigators said in 2012, Roehm's husband told her his final wish was to vote on the Republican ticket in the presidential election, and then died before the election.
State elections officials said Roehm then filled out an absentee ballot with her husband's name on it, and mailed it to the Union County Board of Elections where it was counted.
Investigators said the discrepancy was discovered during a regular audit by elections officials, and Roehm was charged with felony voter fraud.
The Union County District Attorney's office said the judge accepted a prayer for judgment in the case, convicting Roehm of a lesser charge due to the unusual circumstances of the case.
Still, investigators said it's important to prosecute these kinds of crimes to protect voters' rights.
"Even with the time that's passed [since 2012], it's important for the Board of Elections to look and go back, and count vote for vote who those votes were cast for," said Sgt. Kevin James with the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Elections officials said Roehm's vote did not unduly influence any of the 2012 races