INDIANAPOLIS – A mother accused of lying about her son’s cancer diagnosis appeared in court Monday morning as her father called the situation “embarrassing.”
Stephanie Weddle, 32, is charged with two counts of forgery and one count of theft. She pleaded not guilty and will be appointed a public defender.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department detectives said Weddle made everyone believe that her son had small cell lung cancer and started a donation campaign to help cover medical costs. Instead, detectives said she used the money to pay for living expenses like gas and utilities.
Weddle’s father, Jerry, said the entire situation is embarrassing.
“This situation is really, really bothering me because I’m not used to stuff like this and I think it’s pretty low what she did,” he told Fox 59, adding that he initially thought the cancer story was true.
“I really believed it–at first. I started getting suspicious ‘cause the last couple months… ’cause (her son) didn’t seem to be sick. He’s supposed to be going for chemo and he was coming in and playing ball and stuff,” he said.
Jerry Weddle said he tried to question his daughter about everything.
“I kept trying to find out, you know, about …(I kept) asking her about the chemo and radiation and stuff,” he said.
IMPD detectives arrested Stephanie Weddle on Thursday, Aug. 8, accusing her of scamming people out of about $2,000 and forging a document that gave her son the clearance he needed to play sports again. Fox 59 has learned that Stephanie Weddle was on probation for a battery charge when she was arrested.
According to a clerk, Stephanie Weddle pleaded guilty in that case. The probable cause affidavit said witnesses saw her punch another woman in the face. According to court documents, Stephanie Weddle believed the woman had called CPS and accused her of kicking her 5-year-old autistic son in the head. The woman told authorities she didn’t call the agency.
“It’s kinda embarrassing, you know, that all this has come up,” Jerry Weddle said.
Jerry Weddle said his family is a hardworking one, and admitted that the situation has been tough. He insisted that his daughter wasn’t raised to act like this.
“I was really upset. It (has) been really devastating to me to know she’d do something like that,” he said.
Stephanie Weddle is scheduled to appear in court late October. According to IMPD, Child Protective Services has taken her seven children away.