A former Sutter County Sheriff’s dispatcher is facing 16 felony and misdemeanor counts related to perjury, welfare fraud, and theft by false pretenses.

Sara Jeanette Barber, 42, of Live Oak was arrested on Dec. 13, 2019. The offenses allegedly took place between June 2017 and July 2019. She posted bail on Dec. 17, 2019 and has been out of custody ever since.

The charges stem from Barber allegedly soliciting money from people through a fundraiser by claiming she had cancer when she did not. She received around $6,500 from the fundraiser, according to Sutter County Deputy District Attorney Diego Heimlich.

“It was pretty egregious,” Heimlich said.

In addition, Barber allegedly submitted applications for welfare using false information. She faces a possible 12 years in local prison if convicted, Heimlich said.

On Wednesday, Barber appeared in Sutter County Superior Court and her attorney asked for the preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday to be vacated. Heimlich agreed because the district attorney’s office did not plan to add any charges and did not plan to call witnesses that could not be recalled at trial.

Heimlich said if a preliminary hearing took place, it would be his goal to show Barber how much evidence the prosecution has against her. By waiving the preliminary hearing, Barber is admitting that there is probable cause for her to be tried on all charges.

“I don’t think she’s grasping or understanding that she’s up against the wall on this,” Heimlich said.

The next hearing is scheduled for July 27 at 9 a.m. At that time, the case will be resolved or dates will be set for trial, Barber’s attorney said Wednesday.

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