EXCLUSIVE: Tighe's mother on missing money from fund set in her - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

EXCLUSIVE: Tighe's mother on missing money from fund set in her son's honor

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This is the first time Jerri Johnson has spoken publicly about the suspect accused of stealing money missing from the scholarship fund set up in memory of her son. This is the first time Jerri Johnson has spoken publicly about the suspect accused of stealing money missing from the scholarship fund set up in memory of her son.

For the first time, the mother of Jeremy Tighe talks about the suspect accused of stealing money missing from the scholarship fund set up in memory of her son. 

"Jeremy did so many things in his small amount of time on this earth and this is what people are going to reflect on. For that, I blame Chad Becker," Jeremy's mother, Jerri Johnson said.

Former McCutchanville firefighter, Chad Becker, is facing a felony theft charge, accused of stealing over $4,600 from the scholarship fund he help set up after fellow firefighter, Jeremy Tighe, died in a fire truck accident.

Jerri Johnson says it sickens her that the scholarship fund set up in her son's honor has been disgraced. She says she wants the person accused of stealing that money to turn himself in.

"Own up and say, 'You know what, I did it. I messed up.' Take your punishment," Johnson said.

Johnson says Becker not only disgraced the Jeremy Tighe Scholarship Fund, but all of his brothers he served with on the McCutchanville Fire Department as well.

"I feel that he's disgraced the word brotherhood, and for the guys out there every day risking their lives, that's a shame he's put that tarnish on it," Johnson said.

According to an affidavit obtained by 14 News, Becker is accused of taking $4,600 from the scholarship account. But Johnson says, after looking over the records, she believes the number is even higher.

"There was never a cash deposit. I know I handed him cash. I know as other people came in and bought bracelets and T-shirts, they handed him cash. So, where's all that money?" Johnson asked.

Johnson says the scholarship set up after Jeremy's death was meant to go to someone just like Jeremy, who wanted to be a firefighter or paramedic. But now, the scholarship fund has been put on hold until the account can be set up properly.

"It saddens me because this is not how Jeremy should be remembered," Johnson said.

Johnson says if Becker, who recently resigned from the department and moved out of state, does not turn himself in, authorities should arrest him.  

Then, she wants to be there in the courtroom when he explains his actions.

"I believe that everyone that dies has to meet their maker. I pray that God has more mercy on him than I do because I have no mercy," Johnson said.

As of Tuesday night, 14 News is told Becker has not turned himself in. The prosecutor says the is a warrant where authorities could arrest him and bring him back to Vanderburgh County.  

They say no decisions have been made yet as to how that will play out. 

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