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Jude denies request for public defender

The local business owner who was arrested last month for allegedly committing tax evasion appeared in court on Monday, Dec. 15.
The Erwin Record previously reported that Sherry Mae Edwards, 50, the owner of J.D.’s Market & Deli in Erwin was indicted on Nov. 10 by a Unicoi County grand jury on 17 counts of sales tax evasion, which is a Class E felony.
According to information from the Tennessee Department of Revenue, the indictment charges that Edwards “willfully attempted to evade $55,247.24 in sales tax owed to the state from May 2011 through September 2012.”
According to the state, if she is convicted, Edwards could be sentenced up to a maximum of two years in the state penitentiary. She could also be fined up to $3,000 for each count of tax evasion.
According to Unicoi County court officials, during her appearance before Criminal Court Judge Lisa Nidiffer Rice on Monday, Edwards requested to be represented by the public defender. This request was denied by Rice. Edwards will have to hire an attorney before her next court appearance, which is scheduled for Feb. 20.