Lover stole nearly $1M from her late husband’s estate on Lake Norman

A woman whose lover stole nearly $1 million from the Lake Norman estate of the woman’s late husband received no jail time after pleading guilty to felony embezzlement on Tuesday.

A Lincoln County judge sentenced 41-year-old Charlinette Detmers to four years’ probation, court records show. Detmers was ordered to pay $30,000 in restitution, including $5,000 by May 1.

She also must work with her parole officer to find “suitable life skills and educational programs” and not travel out of state without her parole officer’s permission, according to court documents.

Court records identify the victim of her embezzlement as her son, Tols Detmers, who was 19 years old when he sued his mom and her lover, disbarred Lincoln County lawyer Peter Capece, in 2015.

Tols Detmers accused the pair of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars his late father left for him. His father, Fritz Detmers of Denver, N.C., died at age 78 in 2009.

Capece is serving a 16-year sentence at Lanesboro Correctional Institution for embezzling from the estate, prison records show. The prison is in the Anson County town of Polkton, about 45 miles southeast of Charlotte.

Capece surrendered his law license in 2015 after admitting in court documents to misappropriating nearly $1.6 million entrusted to him as the executor of the estate

A Lincoln County grand jury indicted Capece on 11 counts of embezzlement. In June 2017, he pleaded guilty in Lincoln County Criminal Superior Court to five felony counts of embezzling $100,000 or more.

Capece worked in the Denver office of the Lincolnton-based Jonas law firm, whose high-profile lawyers have included former N.C. House Minority Leader Johnathan Rhyne. Rhyne served in the role when Republicans were in the minority.

The law firm fired Capece. In a statement after Capece was disbarred, the firm said it was “dismayed that a former employee, a person we invited into our firm and treated as one of our own, would betray the trust of a client. Such an egregious breach of ethics and violation of the law is a betrayal of every standard we have worked hard to uphold over the decades.”

According to an affidavit, Capece admitted using the money for personal benefit.

Court records in a related civil case show he spent about $9,200 on an engagement ring at Diamonds Direct for Kellee Ledan, a former secretary at the law firm whom he married. Capece also gave $15,520 to Ledan’s now-defunct Tymiss Enterprises LLC, a boutique shop in Denver, records show.

He spent $5,000 for a family vacation at Sea Pines Resort, a luxury beach resort in Hilton Head, South Carolina, and thousands of dollars more on his personal phone and other bills, records show.

Charlinette Detmers and her lawyer, Wesley Sigmon of Hickory, could not be reached on Tuesday.

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