After saying she understood that it was her right to choose whether to testify, Sherri Whitlock Hines, 42, told Judge Jack Kirby that she will be testifying in her jury trial.
"It will be the first chance to tell my side, and I intend to testify," Hines said.
The state, led by Assistant District Attorney Vincent Faucette, is expected to rest first thing this morning, having presented all of his evidence on Monday and Tuesday.
Hines, a Villa Rica resident, is alleged to have stolen money from bank customers residing in Carroll, Paulding and Bartow counties between March 2010 and April 2011.
Jurors heard from nine witnesses Tuesday, including five of the alleged victims named in the accusation. All witnesses Tuesday were called by the state.
The jury of seven men and five women heard from Delene Strickland, the audit manager for Community & Southern Bank, the institution at which Hines was employed as an assistant branch manager.
During examination, Strickland outlined why her office kept looking into Hines' activity, which they began to find suspicious.
"One thing would lead to another — when one stone would be overturned, it would lead to another one," Strickland said. "We started to see some trends."
Hines was arrested on June 30, 2011, after employees of the bank discovered that she was "involved in some possible fraudulent withdrawals from customer accounts, loan creations and forgeries without their knowledge while she was employed at the bank," according to the incident report filed by Det. Eddie Thompson of Villa Rica Police Department.
Hines is accused of taking some funds from the bank customers' accounts and depositing it into her Wells Fargo mortgage account.
She has been charged with five counts of theft by taking and seven counts of identity fraud.
In his opening statement Monday, Villa Rica attorney Mac Pilgrim, representing the defendant, said Hines was used as a "scapegoat" by the bank, the leaders of which he said tried to cover up its "bad management and poor customer service skills" by hoisting the blame on his client.
The jury also viewed a video recording of the initial statement Hines made to Thompson during her first interview the day she was arrested.
In the video, Hines said she knows "this looks awful," but that she was not responsible for what Thompson called "fraudulent withdrawals."
She then asserted her right to counsel, at which time Faucette stopped the video for the jury.
Also on Tuesday, the alternate juror in the Hines trial was excused because of an illness.
The case was adjourned for the evening, with the state expected to rest this morning before Pilgrim calls his first witness. The attorney said Monday that he would have "four or five" witnesses to call.
In another courtroom, a jury of 12 and one alternate was selected to try the case of Evan Donard Winston, the 21-year-old Carrollton man accused of murder.
In a daylong process, 36 jurors were questioned by the state, led by Senior Assistant District Attorney Jeff Hunt, and the defense counsel, Atlanta attorney Mawuli Davis and his associate Suellen Fleming.
The 36 jurors were brought into the courtroom in three panels of 12, with the first panel being questioned before the lunch break and the subsequent two after the lunch break.
The attorneys asked the prospective jurors a wide range of questions, including whether they had ever been victims of crimes and how much (if any) they had heard about the case through news media and word of mouth.
Winston was indicted in October 2011 for the murder of 21-year-old Kevin Woods. He has been charged with five offenses, including murder and aggravated assault.
In the original incident report filed, Carrollton Police Department Officer Brandon Wilson reported finding the victim dead in a Dodge Charger in the parking lot of Chateau Apartments on Hay's Mill Road at approximately 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 2, 2011, shortly after the shooting occurred.
According to Inv. Chad Taylor, it is currently the belief of police that Egim Chris Etta-Tawo, who was also named in the indictment for murder but is expected to have the murder charge dropped, had set up a marijuana deal between the victim and Winston and Roudolphe Germain Jr., which ended with Woods' death. Winston and Germain (who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in December) reportedly drove off in a 1999 Toyota Camry.
The case was adjourned for the evening, with opening statements expected to begin in front of a seated jury at 9 a.m. today.