HOUSTON – The transgender widow of a Wharton firefighter who’s been fighting for the validity of her marriage in court will plead guilty to an unrelated theft charge in the coming weeks, her attorney said.
Nikki Araguz is accused of stealing a Rolex watch from an acquaintance she met at a bar and then selling it at a local pawn shop.
Her sentencing date was set for January 13, 2012.
According to court documents, the victim said she was "drugged" shortly after meeting Araguz and another woman at the bar back in February of 2011, and when she woke up, her Rolex was gone. The watch was valued at $2,850.
"The complainant woke up from a night out at the rodeo barbecue cook off from going to the bar called Eddie V’s with a mutual acquaintance of the defendant, and the next morning she woke up and she (the complainant) was wearing a Swatch Watch valued about $170 and her Rolex, valued in the range of $2,000 to $3,000, was missing," said Assistant District Attorney Kimberly Miller.
After discovering her watch missing, the complainant then contacted the mutual friend who’d been with the two at the bar.
"When she contacted her mutual acquaintance that had been out with them that night, she noticed the defendant on Facebook was displaying the complainant’s Rolex watch," said Miller.
But the employee of a Houston pawn shop testified that on March 1, 2011, Araguz came into his store trying to pawn a Rolex watch.
Miller says Araguz told acquaintances that she and the complainant traded watches; a Swatch Watch in exchange for the Rolex.
The woman said the two never traded, and her watch was stolen. She also said the Rolex had sentimental value to her, because it was a gift from her deceased sister.
Miller said Araguz has several previous convictions for theft.