Ex-beauty queen to plead not guilty in cancer scam

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Court documents indicate that a former beauty pageant winner accused of faking leukemia to benefit from fundraisers intends to plead not guilty.

The Centre Daily Times reports that 23-year-old Brandi Weaver-Gates of Pleasant Gap waived her formal arraignment Wednesday and is requesting a jury trial. The intent to plead not guilty was included in the waiver paperwork.

Weaver-Gates was arrested in August on charges of theft by deception and receiving stolen property. State police say they believe four large fundraisers were held for the Miss Pennsylvania U.S. International pageant winner, including an April benefit that raised $14,000.

She apologized through her attorney about a week after the arrest and promised to pay the money back.

Weaver-Gates has been held at Centre County Correctional Facility since her arrest.

Information from: Centre Daily Times

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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