By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

GATESVILLE - The former Copperas Cove Chamber of Commerce financial director was sentenced Monday to five years deferred probation on a felony charge of theft.

Teressa Lynn Hawkins, 41, of Copperas Cove, pleaded guilty Friday to allegedly taking nearly $9,000 from the chamber funds by making additional deposits into her personal account and taking money from deposit bags at Rabbit Fest in May 2011, according to an arrest complaint.

Fifty-second District Court Judge Trent Farrell ordered Hawkins to serve a five-year sentence of deferred probation, along with 400 hours of community service and court costs, said David Castillo, Coryell County district attorney. Hawkins could be fined up to $5,000 if she doesn't complete her probation, said Castillo.

As part of the plea agreement, Hawkins paid more than $11,400 to the Chamber of Commerce in restitution, said Castillo.

Hawkins turned herself in to the Coryell County Sheriff's Office on June 27 after admitting to fellow chamber employees that she had stolen funds.

Copperas Cove Police Department spokesman Sgt. Kevin Keller said the incident was filed on June 3 for theft, more than $1,500 to $20,000, a state jail felony.

According to the arrest complaint, Hawkins confessed to the crime in person and in an email to the chamber. She left the chamber on June 2.

Contact Mason W. Canales at or (254) 501-7474.

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