Sarah C. Moretti (Photo: The Tennessean)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (USA TODAY) -- A woman who prosecutors say faked her own death to avoid answering for a theft charge was escorted from a Nashville courthouse this week after apparently cutting herself with a pen.
Shortly after Tuesday's start of a General Sessions Court hearing to "resurrect" a felony charge from 2011, court officials noticed Sarah C. Moretti behaving unusually and realized she was attempting to harm herself, said Judge Casey E. Moreland, who was presiding over the hearing.
A law enforcement officer in the courtroom restrained the 37-year-old, whose arms were bleeding from apparently self-inflicted wounds caused by a pen, Moreland said.
The woman was eventually escorted from the courthouse by emergency medical personnel, he said.
In July 2011, a charge for stealing nearly $2,500 in merchandise from a Macy's department was dropped after court officials received a certificate that Moretti had died in Kentucky from a drug overdose.
But the death certificate put off authorities for only so long.
In March 2012, police picked up Moretti after they said she was caught shoplifting at a Dillard's department store. She then was arrested again last month after police said she returned to the Macy's store, resulting in a criminal trespassing charge.
In the aftermath of the courtroom incident Tuesday, the "motion to resurrect" hearing was postponed until Jan. 24.