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Woman accused of faking cancer in court


WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAU) -- The woman that collected money for the cancer she didn’t have is now charged with theft by fraud and obstructing a police officer.

19-year-old Celina Winchell of Merrill is accused of setting up collection jars at area businesses to pay for cancer treatment, but instead spending the money on medical bills, prosecutors say she spent it on other things including cigarettes.

Assistant District Attorney Lisa Gramer says Winchell faces more severe punishment since she’s charged as a repeat offender, since she has past theft and narcotics convictions in Lincoln county. Winchell could be sentenced to two years in prison plus two more years on extended supervision if convicted.

Winchell has a pre-trial conference scheduled for April 7th, and if necessary, a jury trial scheduled to begin June 26th. She is being held on a probation hold without bond.