Computer tampering

Charlotte Michelle Costs, on left, and Erica Lee Cobb

Two women have pleaded guilty to charges of computer tampering just a day after getting arrested.

Charlotte Michelle Costs, 50, and her daughter Erica Lee Cobb, 26, entered guilty pleas to charges of computer tampering on Oct. 14, just a day after being arrested on the misdemeanor charges. 

According to the complaint filed with the courts, Costs and Cobb obtained confidential information from Cullman Regional Medical Center’s computers sometime between June 16 and August 10, 2018. The women worked at Cullman Regional Medical Center but were hired by an independent contractor, according to CRMC.

According to a CRMC spokesperson and the District Attorney’s office, Cullman Regional cooperated with the Cullman Police Department’s investigation and reported the occurrence to the Office for Civil Rights. 

Assistant District Attorney Jeremy Cline said the victim in the case was involved in the plea negotiations which resulted in each woman receiving 12 month suspended sentences and two years of unsupervised probation, along with a $500 fine. Costs was also required to surrender her nursing license to the Alabama Board of Nursing.

Cline said the speed of the guilty plea coming so quickly after the arrest is unusual, but came as a result of negotiations and involvement with the victim, whose name has not been released. “I spoke with her at length and that’s what she wanted,” said Cline.

Costs husband, James Manley Costs, 49, was arrested earlier this year on charges that he drugged and raped a woman on Aug. 11, 2018. Costs has been in jail since his arrest in May and is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Cline said he could not say if the cases between the Costs and Cobb are related.

James Costs has served time in federal prison for bombing a K-Mart in Neptune Beach, Fla. in 1993. The pipe bomb injured four people. A report from the Orlando Sentinel said Cost agreed to accept one count of exploding a pipe bomb to maliciously damage the store and one count of using explosive materials to damage the building. The bomb was hidden inside a plastic trash can in the housewares department Dec. 30.

Amy Henderson can be reached at 256-734-2131 Ext. 216.

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