Hospital Patient Recalls Fake Priest - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

7/20/07-Longview

Hospital Patient Recalls Fake Priest

An East Texan, who was a patient in a Kilgore hospital, came face to face with a fake priest who robbed patients.

Just days ago, Kilgore police identified the imposter as 37-year-old Leslie Earl Raymond of California.  Raymond served prison time in Tennessee back in 2003.

Kilgore native Chuck Maxwell is out of the hospital, but he feels he may very well have been the first intended victim of the fake priest.

"He had the collar that priests wearm course I offered him the hand of Christian fellowship. We shook hands and he introduced himself," says Maxwell.

As a longtime resident, Maxwell says he knows most of the clergy and ministers in Kilgore. He says he immediately knew something wasn't right when the fake priest  introduced himself as father Mark.

"He said he was helping Saint Paul, Saint Lukes Episcopalian, and Saint Lukes is a Methodist church. That was a red flag he just didn't look like a priest he had bushy hair," Chuck says. Feeling that Raymond thought he was on to him, Maxwell says the fake priest walked to the next room. "I think he realized he'd been caught," he says.

Raymond purchased $800 worth of gift cards at an area pharmacy, after he visited and prayed with a 78-year-old patient and then stole her wallet.

"In just a mater of minutes, the lady as I remember, was upset and raising her voice about how she had been robbed. Then I thought oh my gosh, it was that priest. Immediately I told the police," says Maxwell.

But the man who's crime spree extends to 10 states is still on the loose,  leaving Maxwell with one thought.

 "He may think he's clever, I think he's sick".

Bob Hallmark, reporting, bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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